Genevieve Foster Books

My name is Lydia Tyndall and I have a Miscellany article for y’all!!!!!!


s a lover of history I am always on the lookout for new resources to help me learn more. One author I have recently discovered is Genevieve Foster. 

Foster believed that the way history was traditionally taught was boring. Many textbooks teach history in a “vertical” format, recounting the histories of different nations in isolation from each other.  

In her “world” books, Foster uses a “horizontal” approach to teaching history. In each book she choses one influential individual and tells both of their life and what was happening around the world while they were alive. She offers the reader a glimpse of how these important people fit into the greater context of world history. For example, in “Augustus Caesar’s World,” Foster tells of Caesar’s life from his boyhood to his death. Worked into his story are accounts of happenings from around the world at the time, including Palestine, Egypt, Gaul, China, Scandinavia, Japan, India, and the Americas. 

Foster wrote six “world” books in all: George Washington’s World, Abraham Lincoln’s World, The World of William Penn, The World of Captain John Smith, The World of Columbus and Sons, and Augustus Caesar’s World.

When first published in the 1940s, Foster’s books were very successful. George Washington’s World and Abraham Lincoln’s World even won Newberry honors. After a while, the “world” books went out of print, but they are now published through Beautiful Feet Books. I look forward to reading more of these wonderful history resources!

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