Devotees of popular history will have met some of these stories in the work of Liza Picard, Witold Rybczynski, Daniel Boorstin and others, but it's hard to imagine a better synthesizer than Bryson, or a pithier aphorist.
I toyed with being an aphorist, but the mode can get a bit tiresome.
We can do no better than conclude with the observation of the great aphorist Samuel Johnson:
That's the difference between a comic-strip artist and an "aphorist."
Book critic Carlin Romano, who is also critic-at-large for the Chronicle of Higher Education (in which role he was a finalist last year for a Pulitzer in criticism), takes a look at that dubious aphorist, E.M. Cioran.
As usual, Easy isn't much of a detective - his inquiries lead to a chain of suspicious characters who finger one another - but he could hardly be improved as a philosopher and aphorist.
She had been a child apart from her earliest years, a whimsical, sometimes meltingly reflective aphorist.