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Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 1994
|Dimensions: 5 X 8 X 3/4 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
Mysteries of the Middle Ages, and the Beginning of the Modern WorldThomas CahillDoubleday Books / 2008 / Trade Paperback$15.99 Retail:
$22.00Save 27% ($6.01)Availability: Out of StockCBD Stock No: WW95563
Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.
In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.
As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.
In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.
Thomas Cahill is best known, in his books and lectures, for taking on a broad scope of complex history and distilling it into accessible, instructive, and entertaining narrative. His lively, engaging writing animates cultures that existed up to five millennia ago, revealing the lives of his principal characters with refreshing insight and joy. He writes history, not in its usual terms of war and catastrophe, but as "narratives of grace, the recountings of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance." Unlike all too many history lessons, a Thomas Cahill history book or speech is impossible to forget.
He has taught at Queens College, Fordham University and Seton Hall University, served as the North American education correspondent for the Times of London, and was for many years a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Prior to retiring recently to write full-time, he was director of religious publishing at Doubleday for six years. He and his wife, Susan, also an author, founded the now legendary Cahill & Company Catalogue, much beloved by readers. They divide their time between New York and Rome.
From the Hardcover edition.
"A lovely and engrossing tale . . . Graceful and instructive." Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times
"Cahill's lively prose breathes life into a 1,600-year-old history." The Boston Globe
David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5The preservation of Christianity and civilizationJune 3, 2013David GoughAlexandria, VAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4
Thomas Cahill's "How the Irish Saved Civilization" is a charming telling of the preservation of Christianity and western civilization during the period of the so-called "Dark Ages." The pure historian will chafe at Cahill's skimming over timelines at the expense of presenting a clearly written and interesting narrative of how the Irish stubbornly refused to be swallowed up by other cultures, not only to survive but to thrive in unwittingly preserving a history of western society and the church a millennium before the Protestant Reformation. Not surprisingly, Patrick emerges as the first great hero of the story, but Cahill begins with a lengthy description of Augustine of Hippo, with whom Patrick ends up being compared and contrasted. This analysis of the backgrounds, conversions, and contributions of both men is helpful in understanding the line of demarcation, at times more pronounced than at others, that divided Irish Christianity from its Roman counterpart. The author's blend of Celtic folklore and extant writings allows the reader to catch a glimpse of both the romantic and realistic aspects of the unique Irish culture. The fact that his quotes and sources are not clearly annotated is annoying, but does not necessarily create a roadblock to the advance of the narrative. The few historical photos the author includes add little to the understanding of the tale that his words describe. For one who desires to better understand how God sovereignly preserved His Word during the early-Middle Ages (a fact that Cahill does not emphasize nearly enough), this book is a helpful resource. For those whose interest is Irish history, this is probably a must read.
moosecoloradoAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5June 18, 2012moosecoloradoAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
A must read for all who appreciate truthful history.
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