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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
200 pages
May 2010
Canon Press


by Jacob Abbott

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Jacob Abbott’s Hannibal was first printed in 1849 as a biography targeted for young adult readers. It details Hannibal’s life, from youth to death, from his successes to his ruin, and from conquest to the destruction of his homeland Carthage.

Although it was originally for young adults, today’s audience will find it an ambitious challenge. The sentences and paragraphs are long, detailed, and complex. Often a paragraph will be composed of only one sentence; sometimes an entire page will be one massive paragraph. This particular edition of Hannibal provides no credentials for Abbott, no bibliography, and Abbott includes very few in-text citations.

Abbott’s version of Hannibal’s life is entertaining and loaded with information. Abbott takes time throughout the book to depict the scenery around Hannibal as he travels. Sometimes the author will also pause to tell an anecdote related to an event or describe some of the surrounding history, even if it does not directly pertain to Hannibal himself. This helps to give the reader insight into the compelling forces that shaped the world in which he lived.

For those interested in reading a biography on Hannibal, this one follows his life in some detail and provides some of Abbott’s own subtle commentary. The book would be more valuable if it had verifiable sources and a detailed bibliography. – Stephanie Warner,

Book Jacket:

Hannibal is part of Makers of History, a 19th century biography series by two brothers - Jacob and John S.C. Abbott.

Reprinted by Canon Press, these biographies have been edited and brought up-to-date for readers twelve and up. Not only are these editions given vintage style paperback covers, but they also include introductions that explain where these men and women fit into the timeline of history.