The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West

The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West

Paperback

By (author) Tom Holland

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 476 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 30mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307278700
  • ISBN 13: 9780307278708
  • Illustrations note: maps, colour plates
  • Sales rank: 62,876

Product description

At the approach of the first millennium, the Christians of Europe did not seem likely candidates for future greatness. Weak, fractured, and hemmed in by hostile nations, they saw no future beyond the widely anticipated Second Coming of Christ. But when the world did not end, the peoples of Western Europe suddenly found themselves with no choice but to begin the heroic task of building a Jerusalem on earth. In "The Forge of Christendom," Tom Holland masterfully describes this remarkable new age, a time of caliphs and Viking sea kings, the spread of castles and the invention of knighthood. It was one of the most significant departure points in history: the emergence of Western Europe as a distinctive and expansionist power.

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Author information

Tom Holland is the author of the critically acclaimed works of history "Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic "and "Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West." He lives in London. Visit the author's website at www.tom-holland.org.

Review quote

A Best Book of the Year: "The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Evening Standard, The Spectator" "An entertaining account of the fraught last years of the Dark Ages." --"The Wall Street Journal" "An enjoyable and exuberantly argued book. . . . Holland combines sound scholarly credentials with a gift for storytelling on a magisterial scale. . . . In a tightly woven and sometimes witty narrative, [Holland demonstrates] the subtle interplay of genuine religious sentiment and cynical power politics." --"The Economist" "A sweeping and hugely enlightening study of Western history." --"Providence Journal" "Prodigious. . . . A marvelous, enthralling read, [it] gives a lively sense of these turbulent centuries that were so crucial in the making of Western civilization. . . . Narrative history in the grand manner, written with the panache and confidence we associate with the great historians of the 18th and 19th centuries." --"Daily Telegraph "(London) "A superb, fascinating and erudite medieval banquet of slaughter, sanctity and sex, filled with emperors, whores and monks." --Simon Sebag-Montefiore, "The Evening Standard "(London) "Fresh from his triumphs in Rome and Persia, Tom Holland turns his brilliant narrative spotlight on the so-called 'dark ages' that followed the Western Empire's decline. Global in reach, this book sweeps thrillingly over the troubled centuries that saw the triumph of Byzantium, the ascent of Islam--and the lingering disaster of the Crusades. . . . Unlike other blockbuster histories, this one takes as much care with beliefs as with the battles they provoked. We all live in the feverish aftermath of these events, which makes Holland's galloping guidance all the more timely." --"The Independent "(London) "A fast and lively lesson in that period which school so often misses out. . . . Another blockbuster." --"The Sunday Times" (London) "