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    $55.99 $46.88 list($69.99)
    1. Annals of the World: James Ussher's
    $11.86 $11.07 list($16.95)
    2. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates
    $16.29 $7.52 list($23.95)
    3. As the Future Catches You: How
    $23.45 $17.45
    4. History: Fiction or Science?
    $82.00 $74.60
    5. The Western Heritage, Vol. 1:
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    6. How the Irish Saved Civilization
    $30.93 $24.24
    7. Personalities & Problems:
    $82.00 $45.00
    8. The Western Heritage, Vol. 2:
    $69.16 $53.18
    9. Western Civilization: Ideas Politics
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    10. The Inca Trail, Cusco & Machu
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    11. Maximum City : Bombay Lost and
    $117.96 $78.50
    12. A History of Western Society
    $49.50 $18.34
    13. Silent Images : Women in Pharaonic
    $29.95 $25.99
    14. Healing with Ki-Kou: The Secrets
    $11.86 $11.08 list($16.95)
    15. The Story of the World: History
    $50.00 $19.95
    16. The Decline and Fall of the Roman
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    17. Western Humanities, Complete
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    18. Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci
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    19. Desire of the Everlasting Hills
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    20. Underworld : The Mysterious Origins

    1. Annals of the World: James Ussher's Classic Survey of World History
    by James Ussher, LARRY PIERCE, MARION PIERCE
    list price: $69.99
    our price: $55.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0890513600
    Catlog: Book (2003-10)
    Publisher: Master Books
    Sales Rank: 32915
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Master Books commissioned this important literary work to be updated from the 17th-century original Latin manuscript to modern English and made available to the general public for the first time. In its pages can be found the fascinating history of the ancient world from the Genesis creation through the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

    Find Out:
    • Why was Julius Caesar kidnapped in 75 B.C.?
    • Why did Alexander the Great burn his ships in 326 B.C.?
    • What really happened when the sun "went backward" as a sign to Hezekiah?
    • What does secular history say about the darkness at the Crucifixion? ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars James Ussher was extremely knowledgeable
    He was very knowledgeable to true history, and not the evolutionary fairy tales that exists today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible!
    I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book, and was amazed beyond my best expectations. The first day I picked it up, I could hardly put it down, reading long past midnight. The descriptions of the people, the rulers, the battles, the times, are fascinating. Not only is there a treasure trove of biblical information, but also many first person accounts of encounters with Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, etc. The source materials used are from the people who were there! Any one with an interest in history and notable people of the past will be fascinated. Remember Herod, who ordered the slaughter of the infants when Jesus was born? According to this, he included his own children! Read about Ptolemy Philopator, who in 216 BC tried to murder all the Jews in Alexandria by locking them in the hippodrome with 500 drunken elephants. (It didn't work.) Really, you have to see this to believe it. This is definitely worth every penny.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Go To School, You Delinquent!
    Instead of going to school, I read this instead. I win! Summary: For more than three hundred years, Ussher's colossal Annals of the World remained inaccessible to all but the most esoteric of scholars. This is the first-ever English translation of this enormously important work. A hero of biblical chronology and one of the most astute church historians ever, Ussher is both loved and hated. He is loved by all those who share a commitment to the fidelity of Genesis as an accurate account of human origins, and who consistently hold to the literal, grammatical, historical approach to Bible interpretation. He is hated by evolutionists and compromising theologians who would seek to integrate evolutionary cosmology with the philosophy of science advocated in Holy Scripture. Many thanks to the people at Masters Books for years of research and hard work to bring this volume back to life, and in such a beautiful form. As of this writing, Amazon does not have a photo of this great-looking edition, but it is truly heirloom quality.
    What Augustine was for orthodoxy and Calvin was for theology, James Ussher was for Biblical historiography. No man in church history left a more indelible imprint on the thinking of Christians concerning the chronology of the ancient world than Ussher. Though he was an Anglican Archbishop of Ireland who died during the rule of Cromwell, Ussher was decidedly a Puritan. He was so revered by all, including Cromwell (an independent), that Ussher was given the honor of being buried in Westminster Abbey.
    For three hundred years, his rigorous and comprehensive scholarship on chronology and biblical history was considered the unassailable standard by theologians. Until the very recent takeover of our major seminaries by misguided theories of origins which integrate evolutionary cosmology with Scripture at the expense of sound theology and sound science, Ussher's work was not only a staple of Christian education, but his comments were found in the margin notes of many King James Bibles.
    Ussher did what no other theologian of note had ever accomplished. He dedicated an entire lifetime of study to the issue of world history and chronology. His studies required him to travel extensively throughout Europe, examining the oldest and most rare manuscripts in the world, manuscripts which today are missing or have been destroyed, which is why Ussher's work can never be replicated.
    Dr. Francis Nigel Lee (who has more than ten doctorates), a biographer and commentator on Ussher, explains that the Dublin-born prelate was "raised in a Bible-believing Calvinistic environment. He soaked himself in the Holy Scriptures without ceasing. He also read the Early Church Fathers - systematically, every day, for eighteen years. After becoming Professor of Divinity at Dublin's Trinity College in 1607, he wrote the Irish Articles during the next decade. Head of Ireland's foremost Theological Faculty, Ussher was internationally the greatest Anglican antiquarian and theologian of his age - if not of all time."
    Ussher not only gave us a reliable date for the age of the Earth and drafted the documents which were the primary influence outside the Scriptures themselves on the Westminister Confession of Faith, but he proved through his exhaustive and well-documented research that the first five hundred years of Christianity in Ireland predated the influence of the Roman church. According to Lee:
    "Ussher was very emphatic that Christianity had first reached the British Isles not via Rome but directly from Palestine. He put the arrival date, shortly after Calvary, at around A.D. 35f and not at all at around A.D. 596f (and from the Vatican). (See Ussher's 1631 Discourse of the Religion Anciently Professed by the Irish and British and his 1639 Antiquities of the British Churches. Especially the latter is highly impressive. The Schaff Herzog Encyclopaedia rightly describes it as a work of twenty years' labour, great research, and critical penetration.) Ussher was a pioneer in the historiography of the Early Church. He set out to prove that the Ancient Church in the British Isles was independent of the Roman Church and its later unscriptural traditions. Ussher's various views themselves derived from the remnants of Irish Culdeeism or Proto Protestantism readily found themselves into the later Westminster Standards based upon his own Irish Articles."

    Hundreds of years after first publishing this work for the scholars of his day, Master Books has accomplished the massive and expensive task of translating the entire 960-page tome so that this rare treasure trove of ancient history can, for the first time, be accessible to the general public. Updated from a seventeenth-century Latin manuscript into modern English, "The Annals of the World" contains the fascinating history of the ancients, from the Genesis creation through the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 70. At last, students have a comprehensive history of the ancient world which allows them to draw heavily from Scripture and primary source documents. Despite the open mockery of him by evolutionists committed to their own religiously driven view of earth history, Ussher's scholarship remains unassailable and has stood the test of time.

    Annals of the World is packaged in a beautiful display box, and the volume itself is smythe-sewn with gold-gilded edges and foil embossing. It includes eight appendices, and contains over ten thousand footnotes from the original text which have been updated to references from works in the Loeb Classical Library by Harvard Press.

    This is perhaps the most significant Christian publishing event of 2003. This is a multi-generational book, meant to be passed to your children. Christian fathers owe it to their posterity to acquire this volume and display it in a place of prominence in the family library. ... Read more


    2. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
    by Jared Diamond
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.86
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393317552
    Catlog: Book (1999-04)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 299
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal. ... Read more

    Reviews (625)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive Achievement
    Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel sets out a huge goal for itself, the examination and explanation for the direction of 13,000 years of human society around the world. It would be foolish to spend much looking at the points where his thesis may fail instead of spending more time marveling at the mighty achievement he did accomplish. Of course, taking such a large chunk of history and creating a theory to explain all of its shifts will not always be a perfect but it is wonderful to see just how much of history can be explained by his wonderfully all-encompassing ideas. With the soul of a scientist, Jared Diamond has created a wonderful synthesis to explain the development of writing, agriculture, conquest, disease and many, many other factors. Historians may balk at the largeness of such ideas, not seen Karl Marx found a convenient explanation for all human history, but it is a wonderful book to read, whether it is delighting or frustrating. It gives the reader much to think about and hopefully allows a new perspective to blossom among all of one's older, inherited ideas. A marvelous book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A whole new way of seeing the world
    This 400 page summation of 13,000 years of history is hard to put down when it begins and hard to finish when you reach its final quarter. Diamond's friendly style draws the reader in immediately, making the book feel not only lively but vitally important as well. What could be more important or interesting than the reasons why the world has turned out the way that it has?

    Without a doubt, this is an important book, and not because it won a Pulitzer. Diamond makes a convincing case as he argues against notions that were quite popular when he wrote this at the close of the 90s. He refutes the notions of The Bell Curve, which used pretend science to claim that blacks were destined by genetics to be less intelligent than whites and Asians. Instead, he shows that the reasons why Europeans ended up dominating most of the world instead of Africans or native Australians or Americans are myriad, but boil down to a reasonable set, including: Eurasia's size advantage; the fortunate combination of ancient plants and large animals available for domestication; its east-west axis, making the spread of plant and animal domesticates easier by keeping them in the same climate; and its relatively mild barriers, like the Urals, which posed less a division than rain forests, high mountains, and deserts in the Americas and Africa.

    The thrilling opening and friendly style are eventually tempered by a repetition of these primary causes; Diamond explores numerous situations around the world, from New Guinea to the New World, and makes essentially the same arguments about each region, adding only nuances for the particulars of each place. It's the beginning of the book that's got the goods-the fourth part, especially, is a litany of details that are less captivating because the reader has learned enough to predict many of them.

    Still, this is a very useful book for understanding the world, and it will arm you with facts to use against anyone who claims that a person's intellect can be predicted by his or her race. Diamond also shows how present conflicts on the world stage are very similar to ones that have been going on for 40,000 years, casting modernity in the same light as prehistory. And, while the fourth part is slower than the rest, the epilogue explains why Europe leapt ahead of Asia in the last millennium, an explanation that is both fascinating and worth learning from.

    Why did Europe colonize America and not the other way around? If you'd like to know, read this book. It's weighty stuff, but it will reward you richly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good for all types of readers.
    I read this book purely for pleasure, unlike a lot of people I know who have read it for class or as part of an academic exercise. I simply like to pick a book that will challenge me in between fiction books. This book did not disappoint.

    This is a rare work in that it can appeal to academics and pleasure readers. The knowledge and research behind the concepts in the book are complex and detailed, but Diamond does such an excellent job of explaining things, that you can easily sometimes forget the vast amount of information that he had to assimilate in order to put forth this hypothesis.

    There are also two main points from the book that I took. One is the merely academic and scientific data that you learn from the book. I do not have a science, anthropologic, or linguistic background, so I learned a great deal from this book. But secondly, there is a very clear goal of this book to discount the foundations of racism. This is a lesson that every reader from this book can take with them and actually use in real life. I was struck at how this book can have such a dual purpose, and this makes it truly unique in my opinion.

    Sure, there are vast generalizations that are made in a work such as this, just as there are in any history book, but this book has excellent points, is well researched, and makes solid arguments. I would definitely read another book by Jared Diamond and will definitely not forget the lessons I learned in this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great if you ever wondered how our cultures got here
    If you have curiosity about how the big picture of civilizations emerged - for example, why it was the European civilizations dominating with ships and guns and not the American civilizations - you should really enjoy this book. Yes, Jared Diamond has biases (he clearly doesn't like people who believe whites are genetically superior to other races) but he weaves a fantastic story with scientific facts and elegant reasoning. Many facts (relating to plant and animal science) are clearly and concisely presented. Other facts are obvious once pointed out (the lack of domesticatable animals in sub-Saharan Africa, or how long it takes for domesticated plants to adjust to different climates) you have these great "Aha" moments while reading. I loved how his arguments came together.

    Are there cons? Well, certain chapters in the second half of the book do repeat parts of the first half. It adds to the clarity (showing how the same principles can apply to different parts of the world), but if you "got it" the first time, some parts of the book can get long. Given how this book can change the way you look at different peoples and cultures, I can forgive him for repeating himself.

    If you like science and are curious about how environment shaped, or better, limited civilizations, get this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars NO PIGS!
    Because a new crop of bushy tailed Ivy League students are sure to be required to pick up a copy of this book before their orientations, before even being allowed on campus, there are a few things that you should know about this book before you do start.

    Even though there are plenty of wild pigs in New Guinea, which could have been domesticated at any time during the last 100,000 years, Jared Diamond describes the natural fauna in New Guinea as if it were the most protein deficient wasteland on earth. No protein, hmmmm, what could this mean? Why, those poor people!

    And even though you would think that this work might lose all credibility if when discussing human cultures, he were to leave out such a grossly significant fact, as the observation that the rugged terrain of the thousands of square miles of the New Guinea highlands is most well known, among educated people, as the home of a people that have been nothing for thousands of years but stone age men without a written language, or any metal tools, but with a human bone or a nasal shell through their septum because they are the world's most feared cannibals.

    Yet not one word will you find in this book about that, but with a subtle nod of Jared's head for those in the know, wink wink, that oh, their natural diet has no protein. So, of course, the same trade routes and tasty plants that led other peoples to great things, through no fault or effort of their own, left these poor people in New Guinea very hungry. Very hungry for protein!

    You will kill anyone who disagrees with you, by the end of this great work, about the fact that all cultures just have different ways of solving the same universal problems, like protein deficiency for example. And that socialism and capitalism and communism and cannibalism are all just different ways of accomplishing the very same things. Except for capitalism, of course, which is grossly unfair to the poor and to be despised!

    You will always have a warm feeling in your stomach, as well, at the secret thoughts that you will imagine that you only realize to yourself after reading this book, about how white boys aren't really anything special after all, despite what you had previously been tricked into believing, in how they just happened to find themselves on east west trade routes near plants that just happened to contain protein.

    Of course, you will find many other new ideas in this book, such as Jared Diamond's suggestion in the introduction, that Western civilization encourages white boys to pass on their genes, no matter how intellectually deficient they might be, because Western civilization makes so few demands upon its citizens. Which is why you must be given this book to read even before your orientation, while you are still unlearned enough to not even know about the famous conch shell collecting New Guinea cannibals. ... Read more


    3. As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth
    by JUAN ENRIQUEZ CABOT
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0609609033
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-16)
    Publisher: Crown Business
    Sales Rank: 8795
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    In As the Future Catches You, Juan Enriquez of the Harvard Business School attempts to capture the trajectory of technological progress and understand the forces shaping our social and economic futures. Enriquez argues that February 2, 2001--the date that anyone with Internet access could contemplate the entire human genome--is akin to 1492 and Columbus's discovery of America. Instead of a new continent however, Enriquez sees the alphabet of DNA (A, adenine; T, thymine; C, cytosine; and G, guanine) and predicts that it will be the "dominant language and economic driver of this century." While none of the ideas presented here are entirely new, As the Future Catches You stands out because of Enriquez's ability to view and connect trends--genomics in particular--in a way that just about anyone can understand. Eye-popping typography and graphics coupled with a compact and almost poetic writing style make this thought-provoking book one to savor. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read and VERY INSIGHTFUL
    If you want to understand some of the "big picture" issues in our society I strongly encourage you to read this book. Peter Drucker's Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Daniel Pink's Free Agent Nation are two other good reads on a knowledge-based economy.

    While Mr. Enriquez spends most of the book talking about genomics (his area of expertise and knowledge) and the implications arising from developments in the area, he also tries to illustrate the impact such discoveries might have on the world economy in a very basic, easy-to-understand manner. Mr. Enriquez does an excellent job in talking about the importance of education and how the large differences among certain geographic regions may lead to a larger divergence of wealth in the next century.

    In talking about genomics, Mr. Enriquez is quick to talk about cloning and the moral and ethical issues that will arise from such technology and how it will be EXTREMELY TOUGH to policy this technology due to its rapid evolution and ability to move into other countries borders. In the past the evolution of public policy was adjusted with the technologies but genomics is different in that we are talking about the potential to create human life via cloning, which stirs up all kinds of moral and social issues which affects politicians and their voting constituencies.

    The one thing I know is that genomics is revolutionizing modern medicine as we breathe today. The new drugs, cures and foods that will be created and these WILL have VERY PROFOUND impacts on our standard of living in the next century and will cause tons of social implications. This book is your entrance into learning about geonomics in a very easy to read book. I highly recommend purchase of the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
    If you read only one book about the looming genetics revolution, As the Future Catches You would be a pretty good pick. After laying a foundation with a basic introduction to DNA and the genetic sciences, Juan Enriquez takes the reader on a tour of the mystifying advances that are putting humans in greater control of their own evolutionary destiny. This book is designed as much to inspire questions as to answer them, and uses a variety of font styles and sizes and almost poetic prose to provoke the thoughtful involvement of the reader. We from getAbstract recommend this book to any reader who doesn't want to let the future catch him off guard.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Why reviews of this book vary from * to *****
    This book reads like an engaging lecture. If you're looking for an extensive and scholarly work . . . you'll give it a single *. If you're looking for a well written, extended and readable Powerpoint presentation (and I mean that in all seriousness) you'll rate this book much more highly. I was surprised by how light the book was on words/$ but was pleasantly surprised that after I'd adjusted my expectations the book was readable and engaging. And it's significantly less expensive than the thousands Enriquez probably charges to deliver this presentation in person . . .

    1-0 out of 5 stars Huh?
    I am a librarian. We have this book in our collection only because it was given to us for free. I'm not sure what all of the praise is for. It is puzzling to me.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Good, if you like PowerPoint
    The most telling phrase was in the afterword: "I apologize for simplifying so many debates and concepts." At least he knew what he was doing.

    I found this to be a turbulent stream of factoids, hero worship, and incomplete ideas. The author seems not to distinguish between opening a discussion and failing to finish a thought. The quantitative statements are sometimes incorrect - his decimal points seem to wander as much as the rest of the presentation.

    Visually, the text is a mess. Maybe he wanted it to look lively and creative, instead of putting the life into the text itself. His typographic "creativity" tops out around the Crayola level, though. It's what I'd expect of someone who just discovered all those cool controls over fonts, sizes, layout, etc., but has not yet discovered they don't all need to be used on any one page. In fact, this typography interferes with a good reader's perceptual habits. I actually like aggressive use of type, like some of David Carson's - but Carson brings visual competence to the page.

    The one graph (p.147) is uninformative even by USA Today standards. It would probably have Tufte spinning in his grave. (As far as I know, Tufte is alive as of this writing - that graph might well kill him.)

    Toffler's 'Future Shock' needs continuous replacement, because the future keeps getting here and keeps being something we didn't expect. I'm glad to see people writing about the ever-changing future. I welcome thoughtful, communicative visual presentations. This book just doesn't give me either. ... Read more


    4. History: Fiction or Science?
    by Anatoly T. Fomenko, Anatoly Fomenko
    list price: $23.45
    our price: $23.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 2913621058
    Catlog: Book (2004-03)
    Publisher: Mithec
    Sales Rank: 29818
    Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    `History: Fiction or Science?` is the most explosive tractate on history ever written - however, every theory it contains, no matter how unorthodox, is backed by solid scientific data.

    The book is well-illustrated, contains over 446 graphs and illustrations, copies of ancient manuscripts, and countless facts attesting to the falsity of the chronology used nowadays, which never cease to amaze the reader.

    Eminent mathematician proves that: Jesus Christ was born in 1053 and crucified in 1086 The Old Testament refers to mediaeval events. Apocalypse was written after 1486. Does this sound uncanny?

    This version of events is substantiated by hard facts and logic - validated by new astronomical research and statistical analysis of ancient sources - to a greater extent than everything you may have read and heard about history before.

    The dominating historical discourse in its current state was essentially crafted in the XVI century from a rather contradictory jumble of sources such as innumerable copies of ancient Latin and Greek manuscripts whose originals had vanished in the Dark Ages and the allegedly irrefutable proof offered by late mediaeval astronomers, resting upon the power of ecclesial authorities. Nearly all of its components are blatantly untrue!

    For some of us, it shall possibly be quite disturbing to see the magnificent edifice of classical history to turn into an ominous simulacrum brooding over the snake pit of mediaeval politics. Twice so, in fact: the first seeing the legendary millenarian dust on the ancient marble turn into a mere layer of dirt - one that meticulous unprejudiced research can eventually remove.

    The second, and greater, attack of unease comes with the awareness of just how many areas of human knowledge still trust the three elephants of the consensual chronology to support them. Nothing can remedy that except for an individual chronological revolution happening in the minds of a large enough number of people. ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sky&Telescope Magazine confirms results
    Sky&Telescope Magazine confirms results, but does not buy Fomenko's theory
    Fomenko uses astronomy data to support his argument that history is too long and that many historical events happened more recently than we thought. The temple walls and sarcophagi of some Egyptian ruins are decorated with depictions of the sun, moon, and planets as observed in the different zodiacal constellations. If a given depiction is accurate - that the celestial bodies were observed and placed correctly in the constellations - a horoscope can be used for dating. Fomenko has deciphered over a dozen Egyptian horoscopes. He claims, that the latter show dates that are 2-3 thousand of years later than conventionally thought. Most well-documented ancient eclipses actually took place in the Middle Ages.

    Roger Sinnott, studied astronomy at Harvard and is an editor at the respected Sky & Telescope Magazine checked Fomenko's calculations for the famous trio of eclipses from Thucydides's account of the Pelopponesian War. The three eclipses are conventionally dated to 431, 424, and 413 BC. Fomenko finds these dates as non adequate to narrative of Thucydides's and finds exact solutions as late as in 1133, 1140, and 1151 AD.

    The second example is the eclipse of 190 BC described in Livy's history
    of Rome. Fomenko redates this event to 967 AD.

    Fomenko`s dates accommodate details from ancient descriptions that the conventional dates do not. For example, Thucydides wrote that the first of his three eclipses was solar and that the stars were visible, that means that the eclipse was total. The accepted solution of August 3, 431 BC involves an eclipse that was only partial in Greece. Similarly, the Livy eclipse is supposed to have happened five days before the ides of July, which by our conventional reckoning would date it July 10. Fomenko's 967 AD solution nails that date, while the conventional 190 BC eclipse actually occurred on March 14.

    Sinnott confirms that eclipses did take place on the dates Fomenko has chosen and concludes, "Even though Fomenko has found valid eclipse dates that seem to fit the descriptions, I think it is far-fetched in the extreme to conclude that the chronology of the ancient world is 'off' by more than one thousand years." Free country, isn't it?
    Check Fomenko's calculations with ANY sky mapping software, professional or amateur, you'll get his results confirmed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deals with a very serious issue
    History: Fiction Or Science? is a quite scholarly expose of the extreme limitations of our understanding of human history. So few physical records have survived hundreds, let alone thousands of years that it casts even the most conventional understanding of what really happened into doubt. Chapters address the problems of historical chronology in general, astronomical datings, astronomy in the Old Testament, methods of dating ancient events via mathematical statistics, the construction of a global chronological map, the Dark Ages, and much more. Black-and-white illustrations add a vivid touch to this scholarly work that may appear controversial yet deals with a very serious issue directly affecting humanity's comprehension of its own past.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Crackpots. Conspiracies. History. Science.
    When I picked up "History: Fiction or Science?" for the first time, it was out of sheer curiosity. I appreciate crackpots and crackpot conspiracy theories of all sorts - one could say that I have a private freak collection on a separate bookshelf. Therefore, this entire history revision business looked very much like it belonged there as well, so I decided to give it a go. My initial reaction was disappointment; the author sounded perfectly sane, which is simply out of order, if you ask me (a good crackpot theorist is always stark raving mad, hence the interest - never a dull moment anywhere). Then I started to read deeper into the book and, as I submerged about thirty pages deep, the remnants of my ironic grin dropped to the floor along with my jaw. The stuff actually made sense. No hysterical overtones or complex paranoid theorizing anywhere - it is certainly a scientific work written in a manner that has academia stamped all over, no doubt about it.

    The critic in me would keep arguing with the authors every now and then - yet they never fail to emphasize the hypothetical nature of their reconstructions. Some of the hypotheses make perfect sense, others do not - which pleases me greatly, since I am most wary of books that make me agree with everything instantly; their integrity is nearly always heavily compromised in some way, yet never too obviously (the best crackpot conspiracy theorists are the ones you can't help agreeing with, and once you agree with enough, you find yourself ready to agree with the bloke who says reptiles rule the world). Here, you may be offered several contradictory renditions of the same historical event. Once again, I wouldn't have it any other way - anyone who is gullible enough to believe simple and unequivocal explanations offered by the official historical sources is usually unaware that those, in turn, contain numerous gaps, inconsistencies, and contradictions.

    I always knew that history, especially ancient history, has been a collection of fairy tales all along; still it took me some time to accommodate the thought that, for want of a better metaphor, even the fairy tales it consists of were culled from a wide variety of books, shuffled together like a very dodgy deck of cards, then put into a random sequence, given a new index and proclaimed the only authorised collection of fairy tales in the world (and children who ask silly questions about why certain things make no sense or whether there are any other, more interesting tales available elsewhere need spanking, of course - a time-honoured tradition, isn't it then?). Well, the Russian mathematicians do ask questions. Lots of questions. Questions which there was a very long tradition of not asking; ones that concern the very foundations of modern chronology (although "modern" might be a misleading term here, since said chronology is a child of the Middle Ages). And the historians who demand a spanking shaking fists and frothing at the mouth make me want to put every book on history that I own on the crackpot shelf - certainly not Fomenko and team. Indeed, I haven't put them on any shelf yet, since I'm reading the book for the third time over, and eagerly anticipating the second volume.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I laughed a lot with this book
    In the middle of a lot of forced texts, the first think that made me laugh the most was the fact that, 16th century paintings depicting Classic age personalities were painted in 16th century style, thus proving that there was no middle ages.

    Even high school children can see that renaissance painters painted using their imagination, because therer were no archaelogical findings to sho how the ancient dressed and most of the painters had no formation in the classics.

    If I use this reasoning, maybe we can say that the americas wrere only discovered in the 19 th century since all paintings and drawings between the 15 to 18 century were innacurate in the depiction of the florsa and fauna

    4-0 out of 5 stars I really don't know whether I must laugh or cry.
    According to this chronology (which we can name "Ultra High Revised Chronology"), Jesus died in 1086 AD. More or less, in this time, the Cid was fighting against the Moors in medieval Spain.
    Taking this theory to extreme, then Jesus/Joshua would be Rodrigo Díaz alias "the Cid, the Champion Knight" (el Cid Campeador in Spanish), who took Valencia (i.e. Jericho), because he was exiled from the kingdom of Castilla (i. e. Egypt) by King Alphonse VI (i.e. the Pharaoh of Exodus)!!!. We don't have to forget that, according with Spanish medieval legends, the Cid rode after his own death and won a battle (resurrection???).
    Ergo Jesus/Joshua was the Cid.
    On chronology, I am arranged to think anything. ... Read more


    5. The Western Heritage, Vol. 1: To 1740, Eighth Edition
    by Donald M. Kagan, Steven Ozment, Frank M. Turner, Donald Kagan
    list price: $82.00
    our price: $82.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131828568
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-03)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 249079
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    Book Description

    This authoritative book presents an engaging and accessible narrative account of the central developments in Western history to 1740. Seamlessly integrating coverage of social, cultural and political history, this book is presented in a flexible chronological organization, helping readers grasp the most significant developments that occurred during a single historical period, laying a useful foundation for the chapters to follow. This volume attempts to reflect the unprecedented impact of globalization on this century by featuring extensive coverage of popular culture, the relationship between Islam and the West, and the contribution of women in the history of Western Civilization.Volume One contains Chs. 1-15 of the Combined Volume: The Birth of Civilization; The Rise of Greek Civilization; Classical and Hellenistic Greece; Rome: From Republic to Empire; The Roman Empire; The Early Middle Ages: Creating a New European Society and Culture; The High Middle Ages; Medieval Society: Hierarchies, Towns, Universities, and Families; The Late Middle Ages: Social and Political Breakdown; Renaissance and Discovery; The Age of Reformation; The Age of Religious Wars; Paths to Constitutionalism and Absolutism: England and France in the 17th Century; New Directions in Thought and Culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries; Successful and Unsuccessful Paths to Power.For use by history career professionals. ... Read more


    6. How the Irish Saved Civilization (Hinges of History)
    by THOMAS CAHILL
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
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    Asin: 0385418493
    Catlog: Book (1996-02-01)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 1667
    Average Customer Review: 3.41 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known "hinge" of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars," the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells.Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West's written treasury.When stability returned in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning, becoming not only the conservators of civilization, but also the shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture. ... Read more

    Reviews (181)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Irish Impact on the West Cannot Be Overlooked
    When thinking of the Irish, people unfamiliar with their history are prone to pointing out their negative stereotypes. Thomas Cahill's "How the Irish Saved Civilization" challenges the negative images characteristic of the Irish.

    Cahill's book begins with a retelling of the Roman Empire and how its fall precipitated the perfect situation for the Irish to contribute to society. The Middle Ages ensued upon the fall of the Roman Empire; this age is also referred to as the Dark Ages because of its relative lack of artistic and literary accomplishments. Almost everybody during this time was illiterate...that is, on the European continent.

    During the height of the Roman Empire up to its fall, Ireland was mainly a nomadic land with few, if any, cities. Paganism was prevalent because of limited Roman influence (England received more attention from the Romans than Ireland). As Cahill explains, the spark behind the burgeoning of Irish influence was, ironically, a man from England who was kidnapped and brought to Ireland-Patricius, later known as St. Patrick.

    The Irish monks should be known not only for preserving the great texts of the past but also for converting thousands upon thousands of pagans and animists to Christianity. Aside from their contributions to literature, if they had not held such aspirations to spread their religion, one can only wonder how much of Europe would have been converted to Islam in the seventh and eighth centuries.

    Civilizations studied in high school and college usually have at least one defining characteristic, yet the Irish civilization of the first few centuries A.D. does not seem to possess any identifiable traits without extensive knowledge of it. Ironically, if it were not for the Irish monks, we today would not know of most of the great civilizations of the past.

    This book can be read by anyone because Cahill does not presuppose the reader possesses a great deal of background information about the Irish. He writes for an audience that might never have even known Irish monks existed.

    Cahill makes the reader look past all the negative stereotypes of the Irish to appreciate them and even to relate to them. It is hard to find a culture that has not gone through both periods of richness (whether economically or artistically) and of hardships, and certainly the Irish are not to be excluded from this category.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on Cassette
    Clark Kent saves the world as Superman but Clark gets none of the recognition. The Irish save Western Civilization but their role has been forgotten. Thomas Cahill argues that many historians fail to give full weight to the Irish for their contribution in world history. This is because the greatest contribution of the Irish came in what Cahill calls the hinges or transitions of history. According to the author the Irish Celts and Catholics made a contribution that European civilization depended on. The book is a brief study of Europe's transition from the Roman to the medieval age, and the role of the Irish in this hinge point. His thesis contends that without the monks and scribes of Ireland, this critical transition would have been impossible. Cahill convincingly demonstrates, through fascinating historical narrative, that the Irish contribution has significantly shaped the history of the world.

    The author begins with the fall of the Roman Empire and its ramifications. He then goes back to investigate the early history of Ireland through the transforming work of St. Patrick. Next, he looks at the Irish priests, monks, scribes, and missionaries who build on the foundation of Patrick to lay their own foundation for future generations. Finally, he shows how these holy men and women's contributions provided the avenue for western civilization to develop. Cahill concludes by giving the reader his own interpretation of lessons to be learned for the day in which we find ourselves. Along the way, we meet many interesting characters, hear numerous tales of various sorts, and gain insight into western history and western civilization.

    Thomas Cahill has contributed a valuable link to the world of St. Patrick and the Irish. He writes with an intriguing, exciting, and captivating style. The listener must leave behind any notions of history being boring. Often he slips into the historical event being reported in order to demonstrate through his characters what it would have been like to be a part of the event. Cahill presents history in an intriguing and playful way. A general knowledge of history and western civilization would be helpful, but the book is designed to appeal to a wide audience. The sexual references and imagery could be offensive to some reader sensibilities.

    I both read the book and listened to the cassettes. The narration with the Irish accent of Liam Neeson made a great book even better. Excellent book on cassette!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
    I'm 18 years old and many people wouldn't expect someone my age to read something like this. But this is one of the best and even entertaining books that i have ever read. This book offers historial facts with out making it seem boring and long winded as some others can potray history. I read it from cover to cover, when i usually look for only parts that interest me. The author Thomas Cahill bring his personality into the passages so it seems more of a discussion rather than a one sided lecture. Cahill also brings hummor into it and makes the concepts understandable while bringing the big picture along for support. It seem that Cahill has done an amazing about of research for this book and personally i think that's amazing while considering its an enjoyable book. The suject of this book is so interesting and its a new way to this about the Irish culture. I can't begin to tell you how much i live this book! Its worth the money a thousand times over!!!!!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Engaging but superficial....
    I enjoyed Cahill's book very much, but had (still have!) a nagging sensation that this is history lite.

    Not that that's a bad thing -- good, readable popular histories are all too rare -- but I get the feeling that Cahill skipped over some important historical developments in order to support his thesis.

    We are told that Irish missionary bishops and monks treasured --and ultimately, reintroduced -- Greek and Roman classics to Western Europe. This is fine as far as it goes, but there's a gaping hole in the heart of this thesis -- southern Spain, ruled by Muslims, home of great Muslim and Jewish philosphers (who incorporated much neo-Platonic thought in their respective brands of philosphy and mysticism). I highly doubt that any of this came about as a result of itinerant Irish monks!

    Another reviewer mentioned Charles Martel, as follows:

    "During the 6th and 7th Centuries, the Irish built monasteries throughout continental Europe, propogating their love of learning and books. According to Cahill, if not for the philosophical substance that the Irish brought to Europe, the Arab/Muslims would have swallowed Europe (I'm not so sure, it was Charles Martel who stopped the Muslims in 711, grandpappy of Charles the Great, and he was the Merovingian who enthusiastically brought the Irish to France)."

    The truth of the matter is that Charles Martel's efforts in driving Andalusian Muslims back into the Iberian Pensinsula was -- and still is -- a VERY big deal. I learned about this in grade school and don't understand why this topic is ignored by US-based school systems.... It was a true turning point in Western Euopean history. (My intention isn't to be disrespectful toward Muslims -- rather, it's to highlight the clash of cultures that affects all of us right up to the present.)

    I'm no expert on medieval history by a long shot, but I'd like to suggest that interested readers do a bit of poking around in order to get a more detailed understanding of the inappropriately-named Dark Ages. Cahill's right about literacy rates and more, but he skips many historical/cultural developments that were taking place in the latter part of the "Dark Ages." The why of it is a mystery to me....

    So enjoy the book, but keep a sharp lookout for material that covers the period more thoroughly...

    One last thought: endnotes or footnotes would have been nice, though I suspect Cahill's publisher wasn't willing to pay for them. More's the pity!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Remarkable that the story is not more widely known
    This is a great book for three reasons - 1) The subject matter is virtually unknown (I certainly never studied it in high school or college) 2) It highlights a civilization that has up to now remained shrouded in myth and 3) It is the story of how Western/Roman civilization was saved from barbarism by a tiny, unimportant island people.

    If one were to case this as fiction it would be called "too far out." Ireland, the land of no cities, of illiteracy, fights, primitive ways. a barbarous place, through the actions of a few people manage to not only save but savor the whole of Western Civilization and introduce it back to the continent from which it came.

    Over and over the author stresses that it was the Irish nature - the openness, the tendency against Orthodoxy, the rural nature of the nation, the status of women. the fighting spirit - that made such a situation possible. They rejected no one from their schools, they gave a high status to women and all learning, they reformed (though not completely) the Catholic Church but more important thant all that, they preserved the Codex of Western Civilization. That is, they copied (on sheepskin) the works of Plato, Aristotle, Roman poets, Greet playwrights, bawdy tales, Bibical studies = they saved it all.

    The story of the Irish, their brilliant past , magnificent actions and ultimately, sad fate is a backdrop to the story of the rescue of civilization. When Europe fell to the horde, it was not the disappearance of cities, churches or customs that mattered - it was the destruction of books. A great tale by a great writer. ... Read more


    7. Personalities & Problems: Interpretive Essays in World Civilization, Volume I
    by KenWolf, Ken Wolf
    list price: $30.93
    our price: $30.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0072565640
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-12)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
    Sales Rank: 526921
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    Book Description

    PERSONALITIES AND PROBLEMS is intended as a brief and inexpensive supplementary text for the first half of the World civilizations course. This text is a collection of original essays profiling men and women who have had a significant impact on their own society and the world at large. The "personalities" range from Hammurabi to Chi Minh. Rather than being mere biographical sketches, the essays take a truly cross-cultural, interdisciplinary approach: each chapter discusses the lives of two historical figures (near contemporaries) whose careers illustrate different solutions to a common problem or issues. This comparative approach will find favor among World civilization professors who typically prefer to teach the course in this manner but who are restricted to using the available main texts which discuss different nations individually, in a piecemeal and unrelated fashion. This book, unlike other texts, ties the material together for students in a lively and accessible way. Beginning of the chapter questions help students identify the key problems or issues. ... Read more


    8. The Western Heritage, Vol. 2: Since 1648, Eighth Edition
    by Donald M. Kagan, Steven Ozment, Frank M. Turner, Donald Kagan
    list price: $82.00
    our price: $82.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131828614
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-30)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 54027
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    Book Description

    This authoritative book presents an engaging and accessible narrative account of the central developments in Western history since 1648. Seamlessly integrating coverage of social, cultural and political history, this book is presented in a flexible chronological organization, helping readers grasp the most significant developments that occurred during a single historical period, laying a useful foundation for the chapters to follow. This volume attempts to reflect the unprecedented impact of globalization on this century by featuring extensive coverage of popular culture, the relationship between Islam and the West, and the contribution of women in the history of Western Civilization.Volume Two contains Chs. 13-31 of the Combined Volume: Paths to Constitutionalism and Absolutism: England and France in the 17th Century; New Directions in Thought and Culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries; Successful and Unsuccessful Paths to Power; Society and Economy under the Old Regime in the 18th Century; The Transatlantic Economy, Trade Wars, and Colonial Rebellion; The Age of Enlightenment: 18th-Century Thought; The French Revolution; The Age of Napoleon and the Triumph of Romanticism; The Conservative Order and the Challenges of Reform; Economic Advance and Social Unrest; The Age of Nation-States; The Building of European Supremacy: Society and Politics to World War I; The Birth of Modern European Thought; Imperialism, Alliances, and War; Political Experiments of the 1920s; Europe and the Great Depression of the 1930s; World War II; Faces of the 20th-Century: European Social Experiences; and The Cold War Era and the Emergence of the New Europe.For use by history career professionals. ... Read more


    9. Western Civilization: Ideas Politics and Society
    by Marvin Perry, Margaret C. Jacobs, James R. Jacobs
    list price: $69.16
    our price: $69.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 061827104X
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
    Publisher: Not Avail
    Sales Rank: 231605
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    Book Description

    This text focuses on the Western intellectual tradition, presenting the history of Western ideas within a chronology of political history. Its distinctive writing style combines simplicity of presentation with a dramatic narrative, achieved through a selective choice of content and clear explanations of major themes. The book is relatively brief and less expensive than most comparable texts.

    Comparative timelines that detail the relationship between the political and intellectual history of the West appear at the end of each Part. A full-color map accompanied by an essay on physical geography appears at the beginning of each volume to help students orient themselves to the European landscape.

    ... Read more

    10. The Inca Trail, Cusco & Machu Picchu, 2nd: Includes The Vilcabamba Trail and Lima City Guide
    by Richard Danbury
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 187375664X
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Trailblazer Publications
    Sales Rank: 13897
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Inca Trail from Cuzco to Machu Picchu is South America's most popular hike. This practical guide includes 27 detailed trail maps, plans of eight Inca sites, plus guides to Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu. Fully updated new edition includes detailed new guide to the Vilcabamba Trail.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Preparation for the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu
    This book gives wonderful advice and preparation if you are going to hike on the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu. There is great advice for safety, route descriptions, and is best for preparation. Info is given on the history of the land, its people and culture, food, places to stay, as well as safety tips for health in the region.
    However, as another reviewer said below, a professional tour guide would serve you well.
    Overall a great guide for preparing to walk solo on an ancient and breathtaking trail.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nothing can beat a tour guide
    This book was good as a general introduction to the trail and to get an idea of what to expect. However, while actually in Machu Picchu, nothing can beat a tour guide. More than half the book is dedicated to the trail and preparing for the hike, so if you have done this already or you are going with a group, this entire section will not be very helpful. The remainder of the book gives an average description of the site while leaving some serious gaps. Tour guides are great in this respect. The maps of the trail itself were a bit confusing and lacked detail. I would have preferred to buy another book on the subject. However, after looking at the books both in the states and while I was in Peru, I discovered that this is the best book out there - unfortunately. So if you want advance information on the trail and the ruins before you get there (and can get yourself a tour guide), buy this book. Just don't expect much.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable companion on the Inca Trail and Cuzco/Lima
    I got this book as a gift just as I was to embark on a most magical 10 day trip to Lima/Cuzco and to hike the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu from Km-82. It is a treasure. I carried it along everywhere that I went. The Lima section needs some updates (Archaeological Museum is CLOSED on Mondays!) and I wish there were more spanish to english phrases but these are nits, the history and the trail description are fantastic and that is the main intent of the book. You do not need any other book! Good show.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Beware for the updates section
    I bought this book because of the maps and the information it gave as to how to be a good independent backpacker. If it were not for the hidden pages at the end of the book, I would give this book 10 stars. Hidden at the back of the book, you have an update section. This section mentions that independent backpacking is no longer allowed. The only thing usefull about the book now is its sections about lima and cuzco but if I wanted a normal guide book, I woul buy the Lonely Planet, not this one

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Detailed Description of Machu Picchu!
    Richard Danbury's book gives a detailed description not only of Machu Picchu and Cusco, but a host of other ruins in the area. The maps provided are detailed and allow a self-tour of each site. Reccomendations for side tours are terrific, plus he provides alternate trails to Machu Picchu for "the road less traveled". There is a brief chapter on Lima, as well as shopping and travel tips for the region.

    Great book! ... Read more


    11. Maximum City : Bombay Lost and Found
    by SUKETU MEHTA
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375403728
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-21)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 757
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    12. A History of Western Society
    by John P. McKay
    list price: $117.96
    our price: $117.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395904315
    Catlog: Book (1998-08-01)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
    Sales Rank: 468028
    Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A bestseller in its field, A History of Western Society examines the lives of both historical figures and ordinary people, using an engaging, lively writing style to capture students' interest. While social and economic history are areas of special emphasis, the authors pay careful attention to traditional political and cultural developments, providing a balanced, well-rounded view of Western history as a whole.

    Designed to appeal to a more visual student body, the Seventh Edition devotes increased attention to cultural history. The new "Images in Society" feature focuses on the visual artifacts of history, and the text's photo and map programs have been enhanced, with a stronger relationship between the narrative and illustrations. Scholarly updates throughout the text include new information on Egyptian religion; a revised discussion of the polis and Greek democracy; new material on the origins of Christian sacraments; an expanded discussion on the Peace of God; a new exploration of the cultural consequences of the Crusades; updated scholarship on the Atlantic slave trade; and a revised discussion of nationalism. The final chapter of the book has been fully updated to include a fuller discussion of globalism and the recent terrorist attacks of September 11.

    • The text features a fully revised design to showcase the enhanced visual aspect of this edition.
    • The two-page "Images in Society" boxed features contain photo essays on three to five visual sources, with explanatory text describing the images and the information historians can derive from them.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun to read, and very helpful in prep for AP test
    History is one of my favorite subjects, and I have read quite a few textbooks in the area, and I have never found one with the perfect combination of being readable yet comprehensive.

    I must admit, I found the chapters covering 1200-1800 to be much more interesting than the last few chapters, but even the last chapters had all the characters and events that you need to know.

    One point that recommends this book is that it acknowledges point of view, something very important on the APEH exam or in any history analysis. Most textbooks force you to extrapolate their point of view and shift your interpretation. I found that McKay and his co-authors present a very neutral account of history, rarely passing judgment on history's actors.

    The organization worked for me also. It is loosely chronological, but bends for continuity. It adequately covers almost all areas, from the Renaissance to the Thirty Years' War to the Industrial Revolution. Something about the style of writing and the organization helped my memory retention magnificently.

    I took Euro sophomore year, US junior year, and as a senior I remember about twice as many things from Euro as I remember from US. I largely owe that to this book.

    Remember to give yourself enough time to read the chapters, which are long and moderately dense. They take a few hours to read them really well, and you wouldn't want to read any of this book too fast or without your full attention.

    Anyway, buy it, read it, enjoy it! = deeper understanding of Euro History and a 5 on the AP test.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb refresher and quick reference
    This tome, actually intended to be a textbook (thus the very substantial price), is a wonderful read and great for refreshing one's "Western civ" knowledge after being out of school over 30 years. I've always enjoyed history and it helps to have such a reference as this which presents a cogent overview of events. Certainly the book can't be all things to all people. For those areas of special interest, e.g., the Celts, one desires to obtain more in-depth sources. However, this work accomplishes what it sets out to do, to present in a mentally-digestible chronology the flow of the most significant events in Western society and to make it interesting and fun in the process. The fact that the book makes a fine general reference for home or library is an added benefit, i.e., it is not a publication to be perused just the one time. This is one of the very best history books of its kind!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Companion to the Textbook
    Uh-oh...It's finals week and my history exam is tomorrow...AND I HAVEN'T STUDIED!!!

    Oh wait, no problem, I'll just use the STUDY GUIDE. Very good for reviewing (I can't see myself learning something new out of it), and for my final it was imperative in my being prepared. It is soooo much easier than looking for the important points in the textbook, as they're all there for you! It's a little expensive, but most textbooks are and it is definitely worth it.

    Buy and ace those history exams!

    2-0 out of 5 stars literary review
    i was given this text book as the literature accompanying my AP European History course and although i must admit that the author's writing style is engaging and easily understood, i was deeply disappointed by his profound lack of understanding of some of the more controversial historical events and his tendency to consistently avoid any break with the status quo as far as historical analysis. for example, in a passage discussing the political philosophies of Lenin and the Bolsheviks he wrote "They believed in willpower, preached conflict, and worshiped violence." i dont think that one needs to be a communist to realize that this is a gross distortion of historical reality. as a history student being taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District, i wasnt expecting much, especially concidering America's record as far as distortion of history, but i must say that this passage and others like it shattered any hope i had of anything close to an objective or fair presentation. it is my personal opinion that if you're going to take the time to sit down and write a history book which you hope will be used to educate future generations, either present an objective view of what happened or, if you must use the book to expouse your own opinions, at least avoid these sort of gross generalizations. anyway, i realize that at 16 i probably don't have as much background in european history as Mr. McKay here, but i think sometimes even 16 year olds have valid points and i'm afraid that this is one of those situations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!
    I have been searching for a book that generally covers the events that occurred from ancient times up to now. I have not been so much interested in "substance" because I wanted to read about what happened and be able to form my own opinions and thoughts (create my own substance). I enjoyed having the facts listed precisely, to where I can view things at different angles from my own perceptions of the facts. Perhaps I can come up with another veiwpoint that will change the way I see the past, in effect, changing the past in my mind to a more positive one. Maybe the negatives parts of the past were not actually quite so negative, perhaps they accomplished a great deal more than what people now believe. Maybe by changing our perceptions of parts of history, we empower ourselves to change our present perceptions and attitudes, resulting in changing of the future. Perhaps? ... Read more


    13. Silent Images : Women in Pharaonic Egypt
    by Zahi Hawass
    list price: $49.50
    our price: $49.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0810944782
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
    Publisher: Harry N Abrams
    Sales Rank: 460411
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pharahonic women....
    I have read this book and I think it is one of the greatest piece of literature...it explain everything you need to know about women in those time...it's completed very well illustrated and the price compensate the product..it's worth it...it's great! ... Read more


    14. Healing with Ki-Kou: The Secrets of Ancient Chinese Breathing Techniques, Second Edition
    by Li Xiuling
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $29.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1891434179
    Catlog: Book (2003-09)
    Publisher: Agora Health Books
    Sales Rank: 73327
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    Book Description

    Virtually unknown outside of China, Ki-kou is an ancient healing technique that is a unique combination of mindful targeted breathing, simple flowing movements, and restful poses. These gentle exercises, handed down for centuries by traditional Chinese doctors, are designed to harness your body’s own natural healing abilities.

    Ki-kou is a powerful weapon against illness that moves beyond many traditional yoga techniques, offering targeting healing benefits. Using the principle of chi, considered by Eastern disciplines to be the energy source that carries life through your body, this step-by step guide brings improved health and self-awareness while targeting specific health complaints ranging from the common-cold, to cancer, to back pain.

    The gentle yet highly effective nature of the Ki-kou technique makes it appropriate for everyone from those just starting to exercise to athletes—from teenagers to older adults. Ki-kou can be used as a stand-alone fitness and healing program or in combination with traditional yoga, QiGong, or western exercise plans. ... Read more


    15. The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child; Volume 1: Ancient Times
    by Susan Wise Bauer
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.86
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0971412901
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-15)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 4102
    Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    What terrible secret was buried in Shi Huangdi's tomb? Did nomads like lizard stew? What happened to Anansi the Spider in the Village of the Plantains? And how did a six-year-old become the last emperor of Rome?

    Told in a straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer's trademark, The Story of the World covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas- find out what happened all around the world in long-ago times. This first volume begins with the earliest nomads and ends with the last Roman emperor.

    This read-aloud series is designed for parents to share with elementary-school children. Enjoy it together and introduce your child to the marvelous story of the world's civilizations. ... Read more

    Reviews (35)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Breathing New Life into Ancient History
    As a history major, I have always prided myself on the fact that I could find fascinating a subject that left many bored. However, when we began my daughter's first grade history lessons using the "Usbourne Book of World History" (using the lesson plan laid out in the excellent "Well Trained Mind" by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise), even I found the material a bit dry; it is, after all, an encyclopedia. Apparently, Susan Wise Bauer felt similarly about its limitations, as she went out and wrote her own history tome. "The Story of the World" is so fantastic, it takes my breath away! The read aloud text on ancient times presents history in small chunks, and is written in an engaging, story-like manner that delights my children, who are 4 and 6 years old. This delightful manner in no way means that the subject matter is "watered down"; Bauer still introduces children to the facts and terminology that are relevant to the subject. For instance, the chapter on "The First Writing" explains the origins and meanings of "hierolglyphics", "Mesopatamia", "cuneiform", and "papyrus".
    After listening in rapt pleasure to the text, children will delve into the accompanying curriculum guide and activity book. The guide provides thought provoking questions on the text, and offers an example of the type narration that the child should give (the child is expected to briefly narrate back to the parent what they just read about in the text). The guide book provides map work, coloring pages, puzzles, and review cards which can be copied from the book for use, and also includes wonderful craft ideas (most of which, as an inherently lazy person, I found very "do-able" without undue effort). This week, we carved a cuneiform monogram into clay, made a hieroglyphic scroll on paper, and left them outside to see which will prove to be more durable over time; this will illustrate to the children why the papyrus documents of Egypt did not survive the centuries, but the older cuneiform tablets of Sumer did. For our next project, we plan on mummifying a chicken from the grocery store using the directions from the guide.
    I love this history program, and history is now my daughter's favorite subject. I can't wait for Ms. Bauer to write the next volume (this volume covers earliest nomads to the fall of the Roman Empire). The only downside is that the cirriculum guide comes as a thick packet of pages, rather than being bound into a book. However, the pages have pre-cut holes and are easily stored a binder, and this makes it very easy to copy pages from the guide. ... I feel that this course would be a bargain at twice the price.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Simplistic Language - Not Suitable for Bright Students
    What a disappointment! My lower elementary children do not need the detail in this book and my older children find the tone condescending. I'd be embarrassed to read this to my children. Classical education implies a higher standard. Latin, Greek and the very best books from homeschooling are our inheritance from the best-selling book, The Well-Trained Mind. Unfortunately, the author disappoints us with simplistic language. If you are familiar with Christian Liberty Press' lower elementary science and history readers, you'll recognize the dumbed-down writing. Example from page 158: "Here are some Greek letters: A This is called an 'alpha.' If you think it looks like an A - you're right! It sound like and A too. The alphabet that we use today borrowed many of its letters from the ancient Greeks!" For older elementary students or bright children, these books are unsuitable because of excessive reliance on conjuntions and fragmented conversational tone. The detail is too thick for younger children. A Child's History of the World by Hillyer is much better for early elementary students. Save your money, skip this book and its sister activity guide and do unit studies like those from Christian Cottage Curriculum or do KONOS. Another idea: go to a Junior College and get a world history book on the used table, or get the history books with student notebooks from from Bob Jones Press. I had high hopes and am saddened to have wasted our money on this and the activity guide.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Story of the World, Part 1 on CD
    My children couldn't wait for the car to start, and the Story of the World to come on. For my older son, it reminded him of history that he had learned in school. For my younger son, it has developed a sense of curiosity and interest in history. I just ordered "part 2" to be enjoyed during a long car trip this summer. We all appreciated the way that each continent was represented at the same period of time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Book!
    My children and I absolutely loved this book and the activity guide. We homeschool (1st grade and K) and the length of each story and the content kept my kids entranced. Granted, some of the material was beyond their comprehension, but we plan on coming back in a couple of years and doing all the time periods again and more in-depth. Ancient history has become a favorite subject around here. My oldest ran in breathlessly yesterday that he saw a commercial about the Trojan War, and my kindergartener loves to point out all the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian columns he sees around town. I loved having a chance to learn all the world history I missed in school (I was an A-student in an excellent school district and got a bachelor's degree) and being able to spark an interest in history for my children. I also enjoyed learning about the other civilizations that don't get very much coverage in the textbooks, like African, Indian, and Central and South American. The activity guide was wonderful in that it had so many creative and fun ideas for each chapter that you were not stuck with just mapwork and a coloring page. My boys loved acting out the stories in the book: making "fur" nomad bags and collecting lizards for lizard stew; creating a living Nile river; building their own giant pyramid; creating a Red Sea diorama with a shoebox, army men, and plastic ocean figures; building a labrinyth and minotaur; hosting the Olympic Games and having a Greek feast; building an aquaduct; having a tiger hunt, and we're still not finished with the book! I feel like I finally have a better grip on the whole picture of ancient history. Bravo, Susan, we can't wait for the next one!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and engaging!
    I was unsure at first how I would like the audiobooks since the cornerstone of our education at home is reading aloud. I was pleasantly surprised, however, at how entranced my oldest child, the fidgety one, became as she listened. I didn't even ask her to listen, she joined me in the kitchen as I was reviewing the audiobooks, and this speaks mountains about the product.

    The audio CDs are individually stored in plastic slide-in sleeves, which are packed in a durable plastic binder-type case. The discs are well-labeled with the chapter number and title. The track listing on the CDs don't match with the chapter numbers, which can be confusing; for example, chapter 1 is covered on tracks 4, 5 and 6 of disc 1. The insert, however, has a complete listing of the chapters and track numbers to facilitate programming.

    The insert also contains two indexes which are extrememly helpful. The first lists the exact location you can find the chapters about individuals (example: the lesson on Alexander the Great is on CD 4, tracks 8-10.) The second index is a quick reference of stories (example: the story of Romulus and Remus is found on CD 4, track 14.)

    The audiobooks feature an engaging and energizing musical score as a break between chapters. Listening to the narrator is like having a professional storyteller in your home. The narrator speaks with a natural, even tone.

    The audiobook version of SOTW is pleasant enough for daily use and is interesting enough not to drive you crazy on a long drive. ... Read more


    16. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volumes 4-6)
    by Edward Gibbon, Hugh Trevor-Roper
    list price: $50.00
    our price: $50.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 067943593X
    Catlog: Book (1994-11-01)
    Publisher: Everyman's Library
    Sales Rank: 171085
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Volumes 4, 5, and 6 of the Bury Text, in a boxed set.Introduction by Hugh Trevor-Roper ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Gibbon
    This is an excellent abridged edition of Edward Gibbon's classic "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" and it makes both a perfect introduction for those just getting into Gibbon and a useful portable copy for people who have the entire set. This abridgement includes much of Gibbon's coverage of the decline and fall of the western empire and some interesting chapters and excerpts from the remainder of the work, ideal for the general reader. Most of Gibbon's history still stands up after 200 years (and footnotes point out where it doesn't), and it is written in an absolutely gorgeous English style. Anyone interested in Rome owes it to themselves to read Gibbon, and this is a good place to get your feet wet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The collapse of Rome and the western world explained.
    The quite voluminous "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" is one of the most important books of all times, and is of special interest to the reader who wants to go the extra mile in search of the reasons why the Empire collapsed after almost 1.000 years of existence. Is also a good reminder to everyone of us that, no matter what, all things pass and one world leader is followed by another in a sequence of falling cards. The book, first publishe in 1776, the same year that the "Wealth of the Nations" was published, and the same year the United States declared its independency, is one of the first serious attempts to relate history in a context of sequenced facts where social, political and cultural movements were much more important than the play of personalities. Edward Gibbon lived in Geneva many years and was familiar with the most important intelectual developments of the age, being acquainted with Voltaire and his ideas, reading and writting in many languages but mainly in French. The bibliography he consulted is extensive and, even some 15 centuries after the facts he reports, his is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the reasons behind the fall of Rome.

    To begin with, he does not list how it all began, that is, it is not his purpose to narrate how the Empire was built. He begins with the Empire as a "fait accompli", with a narrative in the rule of Julius Cesar , the philosopher ruler, and analises with endless detail all the rationale of lack of in each and every ruler's mind, the background of his ascent and the reasons behind the fall of each one of them. The vast majority of Rome's ruler was killed by people who was akin or intimate to the ruler or by members of the Praetorian guard. Also, all the meanings of the empire's hierarchy is explained with a lot of detail, what was the function of a Caesar, what meant to be a senator at the time of Rome apogee, of consulship, etc... Each one of the 3 books, totalling some 2.000 pages, has a very interesting map of Europe, Africa and Asia at the time. A lot of factual information is there to astound the reader with the polyhistoric knowledge of the author. His privileged mind does not permit him to understand that not all the readers speak the languages he does and the text is full of footnotes quotations in Latin and ancient Greek, with no translation whatsoever.

    The portrait of the barbarians kings and people is superb and the reader has the opportunity of a face to face contact with Allaric, the king of the Goths, and with Atilla, the king of the Huns. Sure, this trilogy is only focused in the so-called West Empire and its sequel is totally devoted to the East empire, but that is another story.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Essential, Important, but over-rated
    You've got to read Gibbon, IMO, to be educated about separation of Church and State, about the history of ideas, and, as many have noted, about Roman and Christian history itself.

    That said, I think Gibbon's gifts as a writer are over-rated.

    This man DOES NOT get to the point, or tend to express an over-arching theme that he can point to with facts in an explicit way. Rather, he takes a roundabout view of things, and ferreting out the main point or theme is difficult amidst all the ancillary material presented. Gibbon would be a flop as a journalist, or as a corporate communicator today.

    As a better example of history well-written, try the Pelican History of the World, by J. M. Roberts.

    However, with that exception, Gibbon's style and wit are worthy of emulation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A magistrally written sequel
    Edward Gibbon is the most talented British historian of all times and "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" is his acclaimed masterwork, an opus which should be included in whatever list of the 100 most important literary works of all times. The first three books, elegantly featured on a velvet green cover and boxed together in picturally attractive white cardbox, cover the decline and fall of the so-called Western Empire, seated alternately in Rome or Verona in Italy in the end of the V century A.D., and I read it with respect and awe in no more than a month (see the pertinent review). The sequel, again presented with all the elegance the opus deserves, is composed of three voluminous books, totalling again some 2.000 pages and covering the period after the fall of Rome to the barbarians of the Visigoth Allaric and others, where the power and the Empire has moved its see to Constantinople (Byzantium) in the East. The Crusades and the likeness of the prophet Mohamed are there, although from the preconcept and biased view of a retrograde XVIII English colonizer who likened the Arabs to savages and women to a second class position in society.
    This second series of book is as good and lenghty as the first series, something which is in itself an almost unattainable goal to any sequel such as this, and Gibbon has once again the reader's attention suspended on a perpetual state of anxiety, always looking forward to read in the next sequence of words a point of view or a descriptive text magistrally written about human boldness and courage in the event of victory, or else the picture of the frailties of human soul when facing impending danger. His polemical portrait of Empress Theodora (according to him a former prostitute) is unequaled to anything written before or after him, specially the part where it was to her that the fleeing emperor Athanasius owe the maintenance of his wavering will and his imperial rule.
    The erudition of Edward Gibbon is unparalelled and he unassumedly cites many ancient writters in Greek, Latin, French and other languages, letting solely to the reader the not so easy task of translating it into English. His English is elegant and unexpected and the avail of a handy good English dictionary of archaic words will be a helpfull tool to the reader. His sources are profuse and diversified and whenever he has the opportunity, he traces the parallel of ancient history with contemporary and imperial England in the making.
    In my opinion, the misconcepts of some of his views notwithstanding, this is one of the most important works concerning the fall of Rome ever done and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peerless history
    Edward Gibbon's masterpiece is not only the finest work of history in the English language, it is also one of its greatest narratives.

    No writer can fail to learn from how Gibbon used his incredible command of sources and texts to fashion his work; no student of the classic world can fail to learn from Gibbon's wealth of detail; no educated person can fail to learn from his depiction of the corruption and collapse of a once-mighty empire.

    Modern historians pooh-pooh Gibbon's "bias" and "slant" and insinuate that the mighty world of professional academic history "gets" the subject in a way Gibbon did not. Gibbon was a man, of course, and his word is not final. Yet the difference is that while historians today are blind to their own equally crippling prejudices, Gibbon wears his ones on his sleeve and nevertheless dares his detractors to doubt his erudition and achievement. They are pedants, but he is the Master.

    I find it interesting that while Gibbon had no formal training in history whatsoever, men and women today must spend close to a decade labouring over some insignificant point in the record to become a "real" historian. A telling point. ... Read more


    17. Western Humanities, Complete
    by RoyMatthews, DewittPlatt, Roy Matthews, Dewitt Platt
    list price: $80.63
    our price: $80.63
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0072556323
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-12)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
    Sales Rank: 218850
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This chronologically organized introduction to the Western Humanities (art, music, history, literature, and drama) establishes the historical context of each era before the arts are discussed. The Western Humanities is also available in two separate volumes:Volume I covers prehistory through the Renaissance; Volume II covers the Renaissance to the Present. More than 600 illustrations appear throughout the text, and Personal Perspectives boxes bring to life the issues and events of the day. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Review of THE WESTERN HUMANITIES
    This book is an excellent resource for college students interested in humanities.This was the text used for my Humanities class.It was very easy to read and I was able digest the material covered without fallingasleep.The photos are excellent and the captions are detailed.This isan excellent book well worth the asking price. ... Read more


    18. Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine
    by Bart D. Ehrman
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $12.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0195181409
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-31)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Sales Rank: 638
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    Book Description

    A staggeringly popular work of fiction, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has stood atop The New York Times Bestseller List for well over a year, with millions of copies in print. But this fast-paced mystery is unusual in that the author states up front that the historical information in the book is all factually accurate. But is this claim true? As historian Bart D. Ehrman shows in this informative and witty book, The Da Vinci Code is filled with numerous historical mistakes. Did the ancient church engage in a cover-up to make the man Jesus into a divine figure? Did Emperor Constantine select for the New Testament--from some 80 contending Gospels--the only four Gospels that stressed that Jesus was divine? Was Jesus Christ married to Mary Magdalene? Did the Church suppress Gospels that told the secret of their marriage? Bart Ehrman thoroughly debunks all of these claims. But the book is not merely a laundry list of Brown's misreading of history. Throughout, Ehrman offers a wealth of fascinating background information--all historically accurate--on early Christianity. He describes, for instance, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which are not Christian in content, contrary to The Da Vinci Code); outlines in simple terms how scholars of early Christianity determine which sources are most reliable; and explores the many other Gospels that have been found in the last half century.Ehrman separates fact from fiction, the historical realities from the flights of literary fancy. Readers of The Da Vinci Code who would like to know the truth about the beginnings of Christianity and the life of Jesus will find this book riveting. ... Read more


    19. Desire of the Everlasting Hills : The World Before and After Jesus (Hinges of History)
    by THOMAS CAHILL
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385483724
    Catlog: Book (2001-02-13)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 8855
    Average Customer Review: 3.72 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Thomas Cahill takes up his most daring and provocative subject yet: Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure of Western civilization. Introducing us first to "the people Jesus knew," Thomas Cahill describes the oppressive Roman political presence, the pervasive Greek cultural influence, and especially the widely varied social and religious context of the Judaism in which Jesus moved and flourished. These backgrounds, essential to a complete understanding of Jesus, lead to the author's stunningly original interpretation of the New Testament--much of it based on material from the ancient Greek brilliantly translated by the author himself--that will delight readers and surprise even biblical scholars. Thomas Cahill's most unusual skill may lie in his ability to bring to life people of a faraway world whose concerns seem at first to be utterly removed from the present day. We see Jesus as a real person, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, but kind, humorous, and affectionate, shadowed by the inevitable climax of crucifixion, the cruelest form of execution ever devised by humankind. Mary, while not quite the "perpetual virgin" of popular piety, is a vivid presence and forceful influence on her son. And the apostle Paul, the carrier of Jesus' message and most important figure in the early Jesus movement (which became Christianity), finds rehabilitation in Cahill's realistic, revealing portrait of him. The third volume in the Hinges of History series, this unique presentation of Jesus and his times is for believers and nonbelievers alike (for Jews and Christians, it is intended by the author as an act of reconciliation). With the same lively narration and irresistible perceptions that characterize How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews, Thomas Cahill invites readers into an ancient world to commune with some of the most influential people who ever lived.


    ... Read more

    Reviews (93)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking but uneven
    This book is sandwiched by two excellent beginning chapters that focus on the social and historical context of Jesus ("the world before") and by two very finely done final chapters on the impact of Christ's message up to our own time ("the world after"). I didn't find the material in between, in particular the chapters on Paul and Luke, to be as satisfying. This material seemed more theologically-oriented, and I came away with the impression that Mr. Cahill is not quite at home with theology. An established scholar could very easily pick apart his arguments and points of reference. I didn't feel that Mr. Cahill had much of credible substance to add about Paul, the most controversial and fascinating of the apostles. For that reason I gave the book 3 stars (whereas I'd give How the Irish Saved Civilization 5 stars in a heartbeat) although I hasten to add that Desire... is definitely worth reading. Mr. Cahill's writing is always eloquent and insightful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Frank, gabby, open-eyed, and insightful.
    Thomas Cahill is attempting something very difficult here. He is trying to tell the story of the person about whom everyone else has already told the story. He is trying to stand in the cataract of Jesus scholarship and grab out a few choice coins (not rocks), without getting drenched by a spray of technical verbiage. He is trying to write a biography that is chatty and colloquial, but also based on clear reasoning and sound scholarship. He is trying to write in a fair-minded manner about someone everyone either loves or claims to like in a deconstructionist manner that, finally, amounts to something resembling fear.

    I have read quite a few similar attempts by non-scholars, or by scholars on Sunday afternoons, to do something like this, and I feel this one comes off pretty well. Probably the closest comparisons might be A. N. Wilson's skeptical Jesus, A Life (inferior), or Philip Yancey's mushy-evangelical The Jesus I Never Knew (not bad).

    As you can see from reviews below, Cahill manages to offend a lot of Christians and secularists. Considering all the chances he is taking, both with style and substance, one might call that an accomplishment.

    My advice would be to read a chapter before deciding if this is your style, if possible. I almost always found his arguments reasonable and informed, and I have read a lot of these books, on all sides. For me, the fact that he has literary pizzazz, and is not afraid to make a joke, maybe even a pun, does not hurt. This is not a book written by a robot. Cahill treats the text with the respect of relating it to the world of our experience, even if he is sometimes a tad groanish in doing so. Furthermore, while not a scholar, Cahill relies on a few fairly reasonable ones -- no, that does not include anyone in the Jesus Seminar, but unfornately, neither does it include N. T. Wright, in my view the best -- and he brings a fair amount of ecclectic background knowledge to the texts. (I was shocked to find him referring to the Chinese philosopher Yuan Zhiming, for example, who I thought was my secret.)

    If some disrespectful comment here on John or another Gospel bothers you, try Craig Blomberg's Historical Reliability of the Gospels. If you ae attracted to the subtitle, "The World Before and After Jesus," but find too little about Jesus' impact on history, I might recommend Christianity on Trial, the fascinating works of Vishal Mangalwadi, or the relevent chapter of my own Jesus and the Religions of Man. If you're offended by Cahill because he makes bad jokes, I can't help you there. But I think he is ultimately serious about Jesus, and I'm with him there.

    David Marshall / christthetao@msn.com

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
    I use this book continually. I find myself going back to review it quiet often.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Even the Footnotes are Interesting
    Thomas Cahill has written a series of "hinges of history" books in which he investigates how a few people made major differences in the advancement of history. This book is about a single person, Jesus. The authors translation and thoughts give an immediate and real sense of who the man was and how civilization is different because of him. Cahill is simply a very good writer, which makes anything he writes worth reading. In this case the subject of his book is fascinating by himself. I often found my self disagreeing with Cahill's opinions (e.g. that Jesus thought that an "end time" was fast approaching) but his reasoning was well stated and the evidence is always mixed. I do wish he had stated clearly the Mary the Magdalene (her name is Mary; she is from the city of Magdala, like today's Jimmy the Greek) was never identified in the gospels as a prostitute before he made jokes about it. Cahill clearly makes that point, but only after he jokes about her "profession." Nevertheless, his humor is a large part of what makes the book enjoyable and the obvious respect he has for Jesus and all the apostles is another plus. I especially recommend his description of the world pre and post Jesus and his chapter on Paul. PS Don't skip the footnotes.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Engaging and readable
    This book effortlessly paints the historical context in which Jesus and his early followers lived. It's very broad in scope, with an emphasis on trends and big ideas rather than painstaking detail (which I think makes it more readable--I wasn't looking to curl up with a dry "The Bible As History" textbook). Cahill does make a few convenient assumptions (e.g. Paul wasn't sexist, "Wives, submit to your husbands" was simply him playing to the attitudes of the times ?!?) and I suspect knowledgeable readers might find a few bones to pick with him. But he writes beautifully, with obvious passion for his topic. His respect for both the Jewish and Christian traditions is evident and, for me (I am Christian), broadens the appeal of this book. (Gifts of the Jews was great too). ... Read more


    20. Underworld : The Mysterious Origins of Civilization
    by GRAHAM HANCOCK
    list price: $27.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400046122
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-15)
    Publisher: International Thomson Publishing
    Sales Rank: 58350
    Average Customer Review: 2.96 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From Graham Hancock, bestselling author of Fingerprints of the Gods, comes a mesmerizing book that takes us on a captivating underwater voyage to find the ruins of a lost civilization that’s been hidden for thousands of years beneath the world’s oceans.

    While Graham Hancock is no stranger to stirring up heated controversy among scientific experts, his books and television documentaries have intrigued millions of people around the world and influenced many to rethink their views about the origins of human civilization. Now he returns with an explosive new work of archaeological detection. In Underworld, Hancock continues his remarkable quest underwater, where, according to almost a thousand ancient myths from every part of the globe, the ruins of a lost civilization, obliterated in a universal flood, are to be found.

    Guided by cutting-edge science and the latest archaeological scholarship, Hancock begins his mission to discover the truth about these myths and examines the mystery at the end of the last Ice Age. As the glaciers melted between 17,000 and 7,000 years ago, sea levels rose and more than 15 million square miles of habitable land were submerged underwater, resulting in a radical change to the Earth’s shape and the conditions in which people could live. Using the latest computer techniques to map the world’s changing coastlines, Hancock finds astonishing correspondences with the ancient flood myths.

    Filled with thrilling accounts of his own participation in dives off the coast of Japan, as well as in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea, we watch as Hancock discovers underwater ruins exactly where the myths say they should be—sunken kingdoms that archaeologists never thought existed. Fans of Hancock’s previous adventures will find themselves immersed in Underworld, a provocative book that provides both compelling hard evidence for a fascinating, forgotten episode in human history and a completely new explanation for the origins of civilization as we know it.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deserves Attention
    Graham Hancock has been producing various books speculating that an ancient and previously unknown civilization existed in the Paleolithic era for about ten years now. Periodically he changes the proposed location of the civilization, originally thought to be Antarctica in Fingerprints of the Gods and now under the sea in Underworld. Regardless of where Hancock thinks this civilization was to be found, he tells an entertaining story with much that bears thinking about.

    All of Hancock's books are part history, part travel guide. One of the more enjoyable aspects of Underworld are all the stories about his various travels and travails as he examines different areas of the world for evidence of ancient cities and buildings. He is always eager and excited to find out more, and lets nothing, not even the ubiquitousness of bureaucracy ( his stories of the red tape involved in getting permission to dive in places like the Persian Gulf are worthy of the old Yes Minister show ) get him down.

    Besides the travel stories, Hancock is worth reading because he has come up with an amazing amount of material which at least brings into question the accepted theories about the human past. I hope that his journalistic, rather than academic, credentials will not lead many to dismiss his theories, because they do deserve more study.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An addictive read
    Author and explorer Graham Hancock continues his pursuit of uncovering clues to the past, this time under the sea. Underworld is the narrative of a journey through the Mediterranean, the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Bay of Bengal and the Pacific Ocean around Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan in which underwater structures of possible human origin are explored. The government of India has recently authenticated two of Hancock's discoveries off the coast of that country. In both cases, these structures are dated between 9000 and 11 000 years before the current era, which supports the theory of a great flood that submerged vast areas of land at that time. What I really like about Hancock is that he provides the orthodox view at the same time as his own theories. I cannot but agree with his statement, "There's something wrong with the underpinning of history." Hancock has indicated the most likely places for pre-flood civilizations with the help of Dr. Glen Milne of Durham University who is an expert on glaciation-induced changes in the sea level, and taking into account the plethora of flood-myths found amongst all cultures on all continents. Underworld is lavishly illustrated and well served by a thorough index and extensive bibliography. This gripping text will amply reward the reader who enjoyed Hancock's earlier titles like Keepers of Genesis and Fingerprints of the Gods. Hancock deserves credit for stimulating interest in history and archaeology. He was the writer that created interest in those little doors in the light shaft of the great pyramid that was recently in the news. Let's hope something will be revealed behind the second door! In the mean time, I thoroughly enjoy Hancock's speculations.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tantilizing Possibilities
    While not as entertaining as "Fingerprints of the Gods", "Underworld" is both interesting and meticulous. You will certainly begin to question what you believe. More than that, you will definately learn something about culture and history. At the very least, reading anything by Hancock will provide you with endless factoids to amaze your friends.

    Enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Challenging the consensus
    Archaeologists have been pushing back the date of humanity's first attempts at agriculture and the civilization that follows it. An inexplicable commonality is seen in agriculture emerging in distant places at nearly the same time. Self-confessed - sorry, self-adulatory - Graham Hancock thinks there's an answer for that chronological similarity. He contends agriculture, and civilization reach even further back in time than evidence found in places like Iran or Turkey suggests. He thinks the legends and mythologies of India, Malta and South America point to a multitude of "Atlantis-like" urbanised cultures that have disappeared from view - under water.

    "Underworld" is a collation of ancient legends, old maps, submerged evidence and innovative thinking that gives humanity much deeper roots than previously thought. Hancock dives into the world's offshore depths, trolls through a wealth of mythologies, views unusual and unexplained artefacts and comes up with a challenge to consensus archaeology. Was there a global sprinking of advanced civilizations at the end of the last Ice Age? Did the melting ice caps drown more than the various land bridges that connected the British Isles with Europe, Sri Lanka with India and Alaska with Siberia? If Hancock is correct, and he is not to be dismissed lightly, humanity achieved far greater social complexity during the glacial advances than just living in caves wrapped in bear skins. What appears to be a near simultaneous emergence of agriculture, he argues, is in reality what we see left over from much older societies.

    Hancock has made dives in many of the sites revealed by fishermen, archaeologists and others, recording finds on video and still camera and maps. The images are impressive, as are the numbers of potential sites. Utilising computer generated maps of the sea's rise after the Great Meltdown of the glaciers, he shows the logic of his thesis with compelling evidence. He's careful to note where the data seems firm as well as lacking. Where lacking, he urges more scientific attention to these places.

    Although he justifiably spends most of the account on locations in India, where in some places the sea has invaded over 700 kilometres since the last Last Glacial Maximum, his relation of Japanese sites makes the most compelling reading. There, some of the longest-lived legends indicate Japan's oldest settlers, the Jomon, preceded the West in the establishment of agriculture and settled communities. Where scholars once held these people were "simple hunter-gatherers", Hancock sees evidence of rice growing nearly twelve thousand years old. Temple styles found today are duplicated in undersea sites, in some places nearby as if the sea simply pushed the people and their culture inland. These people may have followed the "Black Current" across the Pacific to establish settlements along the western coast of South America.

    Hancock is careful to separate the known from the speculative, and not all of the speculations are his. Scholars in the places he visits are contributers to this innovative idea. So many sites and such commonality of legend add up to a highly plausible notion. Regrettably, even while crediting these researchers with empirical methods, Hancock is a bit too full of himself. Long passages of his problems, illness, fright from daring pilots cruising mountain passes permeate the book. By restricting himself to the scholars, their evidence coupled with his own and other researchers' ideas, he could have made this account less tedious while recounting adventures and exploration. Even the computer-generated maps are often repeated unnecessarily. He raises serious questions which deserve serious study. Hancock makes a compelling introduction, but we await a less self-indulgent approach. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

    4-0 out of 5 stars Discover "Lost" Cities/Monuments (Natural Wonders?)
    Graham Hancock got my undivided attention with "Fingerprints of the Gods". He has won my continued interest by writing and researching ancient and mysterious civilizations. The "new" location of his research is underwater, off shore in the Meditarranean, India, and Asia, i.e., Taiwan and Japan. He *does* includes some references to fascinating "finds" in the Caribbean, the Bahamas and a recent site discovered near Cuba. His writing style is most engaging and so is the subject matter.

    I enjoy his ability to include 1) solid scientific evidence to back up his theories, 2) diaries he kept while exploring underwater sites, 3) a photo journal of monuments and structures (whether natural or man-made is yet to be determined) by his wife, 4) descriptions of what he actually sees, 5) ancient maps of the "old world", and 6) "inundation" computerized maps (scietific but limited) of what the world would have been like *before* the flood which occured after the Ice Age. Graham Hancock does a phenomenal job of describing how he got started in this research and he does a superior investigative report supporting his main theory, that many civilizations/ancient cities were wiped out worldwide due to the floods that occurred approximately 11,000 years ago. He and his wife learned to dive just so they could view first hand, the objects of their theories and research.

    Initially, I was impressed that this was a 700+ page book. I found the first three parts of the book fascinating reading, fairly easy to get through. However, by part 4, I was tired and slowing down. When I got to part 5, I had to force myself to finish the book. I am glad I did *not* give up. It was very much worth learning about stone monuments found near islands owned by Japan. The monuments are either natural, man-made, or both - as of yet, the "experts" are uncertain. Most astonishing are Graham Hancock's use of "inundation maps", maps developed by computers, from scientific data fed into them, such as, how high the water levels rose after the ice melted, etc. Today's computerized maps are compared to existing ancient maps, such as, "the 1424 Pizzagano chart", the results that are quite similar. For this alone, Graham Hancock deserves recognition by the scientific community and serious consideration for his theories. This is a highly recommended book, although in all honesty, it becomes tedious reading about half-way through. However, it is well worth finishing once you get started. I hope the US Public Broadcasting System (PBS) buys the "Underwater" UK TV film series of Graham Hancock's dives and searches - to view them would be awesome. Erika Borsos (erikab93) ... Read more


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