Attila The Hun

Attila The Hun

3.48 (702 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The name Attila the Hun has become a byword for barbarism, savagery and violence. His is a truly household name, but what do we really know about the man himself, his position in history and the world in which he lived? This riveting biography reveals the man behind the myth.

In the years 434-454AD the fate of Europe hung upon the actions of one man, Attila, king of the Huns. The decaying Roman empire still stood astride the Western World, from its twin capitals of Rome and Constantinople, but it was threatened by a new force, the much-feared Barbarian hordes. It was Attila who united the Barbarian tribes into a single, amazingly-effective army. He launched two violent attacks against the eastern and western halves of the Roman empire, attacks which earned him his reputation for mindless devastation, and brought an end to Rome's pre-eminence in Europe.

Attila was coarse, capricious, arrogant, ruthless and brilliant. An illiterate and predatory tribal chief, he had no interest in administration, but was a wily politician, who, from his base in the grasslands of Hungary, used secretaries and ambassadors to bring him intelligence on his enemies. He was a leader whose unique qualities made him supreme among tribal leaders, but whose weaknesses ensured the collapse of his empire after his death.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 28mm | 340.2g
  • Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations (chiefly col.), ports. (chiefly col.)
  • 0553816586
  • 9780553816587
  • 135,030

Review Text

"'Man does for the reader that most difficult of tasks: he conjures up an ancient people in an alien landscape in such a way as to make them live . . . a gripping present day quest'"
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Review quote

"'One could not wish for a better storyteller or analyst than John Man... His Attila is superb, as compellingly readable as it is impressive in its scholarship: with his light touch, the Huns and their king live as never before... There is something fascinating and new on every page'" -- Simon Sebag Montefiore "'Man does for the reader that most difficult of tasks: he conjures up an ancient people in an alien landscape in such a way as to make them live . . . a gripping present day quest'" * Guardian * "'Attila is known as a savage but there was much more to this great warrior. Man takes his readers on a thrilling ride alongside the man who marauded across Europe, striking terror into the hearts of entire nations'" -- The Good Book Guide "'Racy and imaginative...sympathetically and readably puts flesh and bones on one of history's most turbulent characters'" -- Sunday Telegraph "'Man's excellent writing breathes new life into a character whose spirit lives on in China and Mongolia today'" -- Historical Novels Review
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About John Man

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in Mongolia. After reading German and French at Oxford he did two postgraduate courses, one in the history of science at Oxford, the other in Mongolian at the School of Oriental and African Studies. His Gobi: Tracking the Desert (Weidenfeld, 1997) was the first book on the subject in English since the 1920s. He is also the author of The Atlas of the Year 1000, (Penguin 1999), Alpha Beta (Headline, 2000) on the roots of the Roman alphabet, The Gutenberg Revolution (Headline 2002) on the origins and impact of printing, and the bestselling Genghis Khan. His latest book, Kublai Khan, is now available from Bantam Press.
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Rating details

702 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 17% (116)
4 33% (231)
3 36% (255)
2 11% (79)
1 3% (21)
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