In this interesting and highly informative book" "we are presented with an impressive view of the great movements in time of cultures and civilizations as they flowered and died. Among the many discussed in this book are the Sumerian, Babylonian, Mycenaean, Hittite, Assyrian, the always fascinating Etruscan, and the Inca, Aztec, and Maya of the Americas. Defining civilization as the city-state inhabited by specialistspoliticians, priests, craftsmen, laborers necessary in a society learning to cope with the complexities of urban life, Mr. Riley has made use of the most recent results of anthropological research and archaeological discovery in tracing man s cultural evolution.Among the important aspects of this study of our beginnings is the evidence that man tends to develop in channeled directions toward civilization. Mr. Riley suggests that, within each hemisphere though probably not between hemispheres, this trend is reinforced by diffusion from center to center. However, coverage of the Old World and the New in the book is well-balanced and includes much new material. Special chapters are devoted to the most important areas, such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Indus, the Levant, Crete, the Greeks, the Western Mediterranean, China, Mesoamerica, and the Central Andes. The book is illustrated with drawings and photographs, as well as with maps and charts."