William Gilkerson takes the broad, sweeping history of the human race and puts it in story and pictures that are at once meaningful, sometimes profound, and always funny. His pen takes us from cave men with rocks, to modern bombs and rockets, and depicts the chaos throughout. First published in 1963, we are delighted to bring this amusing and glorious look at arms and armies through the ages to a new audience. There are laughs on every page, but also wry, though provoking observations, all expressed through Gilkerson’s wonderfully detailed drawings which will enthrall readers of all ages. A book to read and enjoy, and then share with friends.
"From Rocks to Rockets looks like a children's book, and its whimsical sense of humour will certainly appeal to the young. But there's an awful lot of wisdom in its pages, and the armchair genera or military historian will find that Gilkerson gives them food for thought... In short, this book will amuse the historians or old soldiers as much as it will their younger relatives." -Canadian Military History Book Review
"From Rocks to Rockets is both a sweeping and sobering overview of humanity's insatiable appetite for death and destruction... So why am I still smiling?" --David Macaulay, author of Mosque and The New Way Things Work
"Wlliam Gilkerson's From Rocks to Rockets: Arms and Armies through the Ages reminds me of 1066 and All That, in its irreverent approach to history. This brief and easily digestible history lesson focused on the arms race comes illustrated with amusing cartoons that typically show the many ways in which mankind gets it wrong, from friendly fire to failures in new technology. Not only is it hilarious, but there might be a lesson or two in there for those who look closely." --Hilary Williamson
"First published in 1963, William Gilkerson's From Rocks to Rockets: Arms and Armies Through the Ages offers an amusing history of armies through the ages for new audiences with a fine set of drawings and a lively tongue-in-cheek historical survey. All ages will appreciate the very simple historical overview paired with hilarious color illustrations, making this a pick for all kinds of libraries." -The Midwest Book Review (January 2009)
"Every once in a while it is a good thing to step back and have a somewhat different view of military history. A different view is just what award winning author and illustrator William Gilkerson has done with his Rocks to Rockets book. First published in 1963, this book is something that many of the, well, older generation may well have read as a youngster. Osprey felt it was time to bring this to a new legion of readers and I'm particularly glad they did... It is a real delight to read and I know that you and your kids will get a bang out of it. Highly recommended." -Scott Van Aken, modellingmadness.com (November 2008)
"With simple text and imaginative illustrations, this book tells how weaponry has developed from the rocks of cave men to the sophisticated rockets of today's army. The book is not intended to be a serious historical account, although the content is historical to be sure, but rather place some light humor and irony into education... The text is easy to follow and accompanying illustrations keep the book light and entertaining. Both adults and children are likely to delight." -Timothy Baghurst, The Traveler (September 2008)