Review: “Lost Civilizations” by Michael Rank


Lost Civilizations: 10 Societies that Vanished Without a Trace by Michael Rank. Five Minute Books. 103 pages.

In the interest of total transparency, this was another one of those books I picked up (1) because I was researching for a book I was writing and (2) because it was free through Amazon Prime. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it hadn’t looked interesting to begin with, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Lost Civilizations is a very brief look at 10 societies–mythical or historical–that vanished without any explanation. It includes Atlantis (hence the mythical), several B.C. cultures including a fascinating one in the Indus Valley and the Pyramid Builders, the ancient Pueblo builders, the Nabateans, the Roanoke colony and several others. As you can see above, the book is only 100 pages long, so there’s not a lot of substance here, but the author touches on some pretty interesting details.

My biggest complaints was the length, of course. It took me a little over an hour to read through the entire book, well maybe two hours, but I found myself wanting to know more. And in many of these cases, there probably isn’t much more to share. But this is at least a beginning.

I give it four out of five stars.

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