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A Pillar of Iron Hardcover – June, 1965


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 700 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (June 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385053037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385053037
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Wonderful research done my Ms. Caldwell.
bbfan
Taylor Caldwell, one of the greatest authors of historical fiction!
Amazon Customer
The first time I read this book I was thirteen.
robin biggs-mutchler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By patrick d. finley on January 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read Pillar of Iron some years back and, when I saw that it is still available for purchase through Amazaon, and that I could write a review of it, I decided to take advantage of both opportunities.
I recently read a reviewer's commentaries panning the book as poorly researched, based on the near fictitious relationship between Cicero and Caesar, and the spiritual slant taken on Cicero's personality (and the Romans in general) as being too "Christian".
I am no more put off by Caldwell's liberties taken with such obvious fictionalization as the two C's relationship, then I was with Schaeffer's liberties taken with those between Mozart and Sallieri. It is obvious to me that Caldwell needed to beef up the characers for fiction, and she did it in a way that brought city life in Roman times very much alive, and succeeded in portraying Cicero as a man moved more by his spirituality than by pragmatic politics, which I believe to be true, based on his own writings. From rush hour in Rome to Casesar's divorce, and the ingenious interweaving of Cicero's deeply moving original texts and landscape fiction, Caldwell's book is worthy of high praise.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lotus on February 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
You know, I do agree with the rest of the reviewers that this book is flawed in historical accuracy, in more ways than one. However, this is classified as historical fiction, therefore, I do not expect every detail to be perfect.

Rather, I wish that they could appreciate this book for its literary value. Caldwell does a wonderful job of writing in a coherent way that most should appreciate (since that can be rare, nowadays!), and learn from. She wrote her interpretaion of Cicero's life, and the city in which he lived.

By all means, do not stop learning your Roman history here! Read from different authors about different people. Is that not the beauty of our world? To enrich our minds with many sources, so as to draw our own conclusion?

I admit, I loved this book. It was an exciting and interesting read, about one of the most well known men Rome had ever seen. Try also reading "The Flames of Rome" by Paul Maier, or "The Roman Way" by Edith Hamilton. Those can give one a broader view of Roman society!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this book while taking Economics in high school about 1 week ago. It was the highlight of the course. Thanks Mrs. Mara! I kick myself for not keeping a copy. It is a good story from one perspective of life in Rome. Cicero was among the first to habitually publish his writings and speeches (it was one of his greatest sources of income). However, since it is he was writing about, they were somewhat subjective. Another spin on Cicero, Caesar, and others can be found in the novels by Colleen McCullough. She begins her historical fiction tales from the time just before the birth of Cicero and Caesar and continues through the death of both. The series is several books and covers the Roman lifestyle in much greater depth. Very good reading.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By robin biggs-mutchler on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The first time I read this book I was thirteen. Heavy reading for a kid, but I loved it. I carried it around the house and outside and just could not put it down. I understand that some of it is fiction to give depth to the charcaters and intrigue to the story, but from other books I've read on Cicero it's more than moderately accurate. I think this is a wonderful description of Cicero as a man, not just an orator, and I'd recommend that anyone interested in the old Rome should read this and everything about Cicero.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Es Husband on May 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book opened my eyes to politics when I first read it in 1998. All you have to do is replace the "Roman Empire" with the "United States", Rome with Washington DC and the multitude of characters in the book with the present day leaders of our country. I thought I was reading current events from the Washington Post. This book gives a great historical accounting (with plenty of fictional fill-in) that just kept me glued to its pages. I loved this book. It is a history lesson imbued with drama, intrigue and surprises.
You won't be disappointed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen M. Reid on October 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I originally read this book back in the earl 1960's. At the time the US was experiencing the watt's riot. Berkley and all kinds of disorder. This book is really about the fall of the Roman Empire with Ceasar and Ciceiro. At the time I thought oh my Goodness this is what is happening now. Recently it came to my mind and I purchased a used copy of the Pillar of Iron. It is a very awakening experience to read history repeating itself. It could be about todays US world. Time well spent to read this book. Amazon has access to many of the old used good works and the price is very reasonable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Uribe-Rossi on October 4, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Who said the time machine has not been invented? This book will make you feel the stench of blood and sweat of Cicero's Rome as if you were there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laurie on October 14, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book as a young teen, in the Readers' Digest Condensed version, then sought out the original. It was the driving force behind my decision to take Latin as a high school freshman a couple of years later. It is pure Taylor Caldwell, full of her particular style and prejudices, and takes all sorts of liberties with the character of Cicero and those around him, but is very entertaining and shows him as a man of iron integrity throughout his life. She follows him through his childhood and youth, creating fictions that account for this in his adult life. The picture of Roman daily life is interesting and engaging and still hooks me completely. I find the digressions into her portrayal of Cicero's delving into a deep belief into the Unknown God as a presage of Christ to be a stretch, even though his actual writings do mention the Unknown God. There are indeed lengthy quotes lifted from Cicero's actual orations and writings, and the delightful letters between him and his friend and publisher Atticus. I've owned many copies of this book over the years, given them away, lost them, replaced them, and now that my eyes are not so good I wish it were available on the Kindle so I could make the font bigger! But I love it so, with all its flaws, that I bought it again in the "dead tree" version to read and enjoy once again.
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