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Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World

Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World

Hardback Hinges of History

By (author) Thomas Cahill

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  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese
  • Format: Hardback | 341 pages
  • Dimensions: 166mm x 232mm x 40mm | 820g
  • Publication date: 29 October 2013
  • ISBN 10: 0385495579
  • ISBN 13: 9780385495578
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, colour plates
  • Sales rank: 302,571

Product description

From the inimitable bestselling author Thomas Cahill, another popular history--this one focusing on how the innovations of the Renaissance and the Reformation changed the Western world. A truly revolutionary book. In Volume VI of his acclaimed Hinges of History series, Thomas Cahill guides us through the thrilling period of the Renaissance and the Reformation (the late fourteenth to the early seventeenth century), so full of innovation and cultural change that the Western world would not experience its like again until the twentieth century. Beginning with the continent-wide disaster of the Black Death, Cahill traces the many developments in European thought and experience that served both the new humanism of the Renaissance and the seemingly abrupt religious alterations of the increasingly radical Reformation. This is an age of the most sublime artistic and scientific adventure, but also of newly powerful princes and armies and of newly found courage, as many thousands refuse to bow their heads to the religious pieties of the past. It is an era of just-discovered continents and previously unknown peoples. More than anything, it is a time of individuality in which a whole culture must achieve a new balance if the West is to continue.

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Author information

THOMAS CAHILL's appealing approach to distant history has won the attention of millions of readers in North America and beyond. Cahill is the author of five previous volumes in the Hinges of History series: "How the Irish Saved Civilization," "The Gifts of the Jews," "Desire of the Everlasting Hills," "Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea," and "Mysteries of the Middle Ages." They have been bestsellers not only in the United States but also in countries ranging from Italy to Brazil. His most recent book is "A Saint on Death Row."

Review quote

"It's hard to imagine a more palpable or engaging history of venal popes and the horrific torture and burning of heretics in the 1500s than Thomas Cahill's "Heretics and Heroes," the sixth in his Hinges of History Series. Cahill is our king of popular historians, and rightly so. He is eminently learned and wise, fluent in several languages, and opinionated and unsparing in his view of history. . . . In a little over 300 pages, Cahill encapsulates several dozen major artistic, political and ecclesiastical figures across a spread of several centuries. He touches on so many subjects, is so knowledgeable on everything he touches on, is so pithy and sharp, it doesn't matter if you know a little, a lot or nothing at all about Renaissance art or Northern Europe's rocky break from Catholic Rome. Cahill, you feel, would be the ideal dinner or driving companion. In spirit and in narrative strategy, he's the modern equivalent of popular journalist-historians like John Hersey, Jim Bishop and Walter Lord, who brought factual insight into events blanketed by popular myth."""--"The Dallas Morning News " "Cahill is a felicitous writer. . . . [H]is erudition is impressive and engaging. No reader will doubt his enthusiasm for or knowledge of great Renaissance masters such as Donatello, Masaccio and Botticelli, as well as the freakishly talented Leonardo and that ruffian Caravaggio. Almost as important, "Heretics and Heroes" is illustrated in a lavish and handsome fashion. Anyone looking for a refresher on Renaissance art . . . or on Reformation conflicts and the subsequent wars of religion could do far worse than to pick up this breezy but reliable guide." --"The Washington Post" "The writing is crisp, conversational, and matched by very few non-fiction writers out there today. The great achievement of "Heretics and Heroes" is Cahill's seemingly effortless illumination of the Renaissance and the Reformation. I have learned a lot from what Cahill has done here." --James S