Larry Gonick, the over-educated cartoonist, continues his series of book-length comic-strips that illustrate ancient history. This new 300-page installment covers the rise of Arabia and the role of “Orientals” in crafting the culture we have today. In Gonick’s hands history is a hoot, and very much about ideas. I particularly savor this latest volume because by moving the center of the universe somewhere east of Europe — delving into Islam, Africa and East Asia — Gonick’s cartoons can remedy the ignorance and arrogance of the west. Laugh your way to enlightenment!