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Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World (Hinges of History) Paperback – August 12, 2014
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From Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (2003) to his recent book on the flowering of the High Middle Ages, Cahill has proven that he can bring even the most obscure epochs back to life. In this sixth of seven projected volumes in his Hinges of History series, Cahill arrives at his most turbulent era yet: the Reformation and Renaissance. Replete with a larger-than-life cast of explorers, innovators, imperialists, and reformers, the era seems built for Cahill’s masterful storytelling. Although it is rigorously researched, the book abounds in the serendipities that make for the best fiction: Columbus discovers the New World by accident and Gutenberg modifies a winepress to print books. Even the tragic fall of Constantinople and the horrors of the bubonic plague yield unexpected opportunities. The text is delightfully sprinkled with clever notes and asides as well as dozens of illustrative images and poems. Heretics and Heroes is proof that truth is stranger than fiction—and that it can be just as entertaining. --Brett Beasley --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“Cahill is our king of popular historians, and rightly so. He is eminently learned and wise . . . opinionated and unsparing in his view of history.” —The Dallas Morning News
“A great achievement. . . . Seemingly effortless illumination of the Renaissance and the Reformation.” —James S. Shapiro, author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
“In much writing of history, the erudition of the authors is evident: even the footnotes have footnotes. But now and then we get to read history that is, simply, interesting. Tom Cahill is the master in this genre. He knows what the specialists know, but his form of scholarly art lets readers be freshly lured into the plot. He is the virtuoso of genres and moves easily from one to another in such a way that we find ourselves informed and inspired.
Some years ago Rabbi Samuel Sandmel wrote a book on The Enjoyment of Scripture. What a shocking thought, that a noted scholar thought his writing could be enjoyed! In his series, The Hinges of History, and especially in his newest book, Heretics and Heroes, Cahill shocks by writing for reader-enjoyment—which is the best way to advance learning. I am glad to be in the company of enjoyers and learners.”
—Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, The University of Chicago
“Remarkable. . . . An entertaining yet thought-provoking examination of Western civilization.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Wonderful. . . . Shows how events and a change in philosophical views can uproot and reconfigure entire civilizations.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
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