Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West

Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West

Paperback

By (author) Tom Holland

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 241mm x 51mm | 658g
  • Publication date: 12 June 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307279480
  • ISBN 13: 9780307279484
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: TWO 8- PAGE ILL. SEC./3 MAPS
  • Sales rank: 95,005

Product description

In the fifth century B.C., a global superpower was determined to bring truth and order to what it regarded as two terrorist states. The superpower was Persia, incomparably rich in ambition, gold, and men. The terrorist states were Athens and Sparta, eccentric cities in a poor and mountainous backwater: Greece. The story of how their citizens took on the Great King of Persia, and thereby saved not only themselves but Western civilization as well, is as heart-stopping and fateful as any episode in history. Tom Holland s brilliant study of these critical Persian Wars skillfully examines a conflict of critical importance to both ancient and modern history."

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Author information

tom holland gained the top degree at Cambridge before earning his Ph.D. at Oxford. An accomplished radio personality in Britain, he has written a highly acclaimed series of adaptations for Radio 4 of Herodotus s "Histories," Virgil s "Aeneid," and Homer s "The" "Iliad" and "The Odyssey." He is the author of the critically acclaimed history of the fall of the Roman Republic, "Rubicon," and the novels "The Bone Hunter," "Slave of My Thirst," and" Lord of the Dead.""

Review quote

Praise from the United Kingdom for "Persian Fire" " Excellent . . . Holland is a cool-headed historian who writes here no less authoritatively and engagingly on classical Greece than he did on ancient Rome in his last book, "Rubicon" . . . There is an even-handedness in Holland's treatment of both Greek and Persian cultural riches that is rare in popular accounts of these wars." -- Mary Beard, "Times Literary Supplement" " It is . . . a testament to Holland's superlative powers as a narrative historian that he brings this tumultuous, epoch-making period dazzlingly to life, and makes the common reader familiar again with one of the most thrilling periods in world history . . . [Holland] has conquered this new territory with more power and panache than any platform-heeled King of Kings." -- William Napier, "The Independent" " A book as spirited and engaging as "Persian Fire" deserves to last . . . [Holland' s] real achievement is to have turned the stuff of public-school translation exercises into vibrant, bloodthirsty popular history, told with a rich sense of irony and irresistible narrative timing." -- Dominic Sandbrook, "The Telegraph" " ["Persian Fire"] is an unequivocal argument for the relevance of ancient history. As we stand at the start of a century that many would like to see as a time when civilizations are doomed to clash, Holland writes of a war between East and West which predates the Crusades, which is older than Islam or Christianity . . . fascinating." -- Geraldine Beddell, "The Observer " Praise for "Rubicon" " [A] book that really held me, in fact, obsessed me . . . Narrative history at its best." -- Ian McEwan, author of "Atonement" and "Saturday," "The Guardian "Books of the Year " Stunning . . . "Rubicon" is unusually well-informed by any standard and impressive for its large but not overwhelming cast of characters . . . Holland keeps his narrative moving at chariot-race speed." -- "Newsday" " A fascinating picture of Roman city life . . . In every aspect of this story, Holland expertly makes the Romans, so alien and yet so familiar, relevant to us." -- "Los Angeles Times "" [Tom] Holland has a sense for the golden moment, is a widely read intellectual, shows a keen wit-- and the result is an engaging story that the general public will find worth relearning . . . As a classically trained nonacademic he writes far better than most of those who know more than he about the ancient world . . . [He] captures the previous age in a riveting story, well told in "Persian Fire."" -- Victor Davis Hanson, "Times Literary Supplement"