Heretics and Heroes

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

3.75 (759 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 theReformation (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 manydevelopments 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."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 341 pages
  • 166 x 232 x 40mm | 819.99g
  • Nan A. Talese
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations, maps, colour plates
  • 0385495579
  • 9780385495578
  • 279,211

Review quote

"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. Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, and author of "Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?" "Cahill cheerfully explains the enduring value of the Renaissance and Reformation movements to 21st century Western principles, injecting humor and a conversational style into well-written and easily accessible chapters centering on controversial issues and mesmerizing personalities ... Well-chosen illustrations and discreetly placed asides clarify his arguments ... Cahill writes passionately about the era's transformational art, the unexpected benefits of the Black Plague, and the intellectual struggles over secular and papal power, resulting in an entertaining yet thought-provoking examination of Western civilization." --"Publishers Weekly", starred review "Cahill sets his delightfully analytic mind to the major transformations prompted by the Renaissance and Reformation ... [he] makes it seem so simple to connect the dots, as the 14th through 16th centuries witnessed changes to every facet and walk of life--from the expulsion of the Moors in Spain to the emergence of nations and massive religious upheaval. The breadth of Cahill's knowledge and his jocular style of writing make for a remarkable book."--"Kirkus Reviews", starred reviewshow more

About Thomas Cahill

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. Hismost recent book is"A Saint on Death Row.""show more

Rating details

759 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 22% (166)
4 41% (311)
3 29% (220)
2 7% (52)
1 1% (10)
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