Five Cities That Ruled the World: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London and New York Shaped Global History
Five Cities That Ruled the World: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London and New York Shaped Global History  -     By: Douglas Wilson
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Thomas Nelson / 2008 / Paperback

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Five Cities That Ruled the World: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London and New York Shaped Global History

Thomas Nelson / 2008 / Paperback

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CBD Stock No: WW551368

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In Five Cities That Ruled the World Douglas Wilson recounts in compelling detail how Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London and New York all exerted an immense influence upon global culture affecting even our present day. Wilson shares how each city directed wealth and power, influenced faith and belief, commanded fear and allegiance, and provoked countless wars and conquests while ultimately shaping the world we live in today. Gain an insightful perspective of world history by reading about the critical moments that birthed history's most influential cities.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1595551360
ISBN-13: 9781595551368

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Publisher's Description

In Five Cities that Ruled the World, theologian Douglas Wilson fuses together, in compelling detail, the critical moments birthed in history’s most influential cities —Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York.

Wilson issues a challenge to our collective understanding of history with the juxtapositions of freedom and its intrinsic failures; liberty and its deep-seated liabilities. Each revelation beckoning us deeper into a city’s story, its political systems, and how it flourished and floundered.

You'll discover the significance of:

  • Jerusalem's complex history and its deep-rooted character as the city of freedom, where people found their spiritual liberty.
  • Athens' intellectual influence as the city of reason and birthplace of democracy.
  • Rome's evolution as the city of law and justice and the freedoms and limitations that come with liberty.
  • London's place in the world's history as the city of literature where man's literary imagination found its wings.
  • New York's rise to global fame as the city of commerce and how it triggered unmatched wealth, industry, and trade throughout the world.

Five Cities that Ruled the World chronicles the destruction, redemption, personalities, and power structures that altered the world's political, spiritual, and moral center time and again. It's an inspiring, enlightening global perspective that encourages readers to honor our shared history, contribute to the present, and look to the future with unmistakable hope.

Author Bio

Douglas Wilson is a senior fellow of theology at New Saint Andrews College. Wilson isthe author of numerous books on education, theology, and culture, including: The Case for Classical Christian Education , Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning , Mother Kirk , and Angels in the Architecture , as well as biographies on both Anne Bradstreet and John Knox.

Product Reviews

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  1. South Africa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    March 27, 2010
    South Africa
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    The book describes itself as The gripping and illuminative story of how five citiesJerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New Yorkshaped the course of global history.It is a short book, about 200 pages of material, so if you are expecting a lot of insight and detail you will be disappointed. Instead it devotes about 40 pages to each city, and the role it has played in world history, including its spiritual influences.I enjoyed the book, although I found it a little short of detail. It does however make an excellent case for showing how the cities fitted together, particularly time-wise. It was very readable, and I took about two days to finish it. It did seem that there was less detail about the later cities than the earlier ones, and by the time we got to New York it felt like we were rushing too finish.Dont expect too much new, but it might just inspire you to go out and buy some more books about the subject.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    January 13, 2010
    Emanuel Pavel
    Comunitatile umane au interactionat si s-au influentat una pe alta in varii modalitati; o incercare de intelegere a acestei dinamici a reprezentat provocarea de baza pentru a citi cartea 5 Cities that Ruled the World a lui Douglas Wilson, una din aparitiile de success ale Editurii Thomas Nelson pe finalul de an 2009.Astfel Wilson acopera si sumarizeaza aspecte din istoria, formarea si decaderea a cinci orase intrand in domeniul spiritualului prin Ierusalim(Libertatea spirituala incepe prin moartea si invierea lui Isus Christos), parcurgand filonul democratiei din Atena(Curentele presente in formele democratiei actuale se regasesc in Atena), analizand dreptul civil in Roma(Dreptate sociala prin aplicarea unei legi; asta invata Roma), surpinzand prin dimensiunea culturala acordata Londrei(Londra culturala(!!!) M-a surpins dar W. Shakespeare si KJV sunt argumente), atingand spiritul intreprinzator capitalist prin citadela economico-financiara, New York(economicul si finantele mondiale cresc si descresc si in functie de cum e vremea la New York).Lentila prin care el invita cititorul sa priveasca aceasta prezentare istorico-culturala este una din setul iudeo-crestin, finalul oferind legatura intre orasul oamenilor si orasul lui Dumnezeu prin Intruparea lui Christos.
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    December 13, 2009
    In "5 Cites that Ruled the World" the author, Douglas Wilson, gives us glimpses at the history of 5 influential cities, Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, & New York. The history walks us through ancient past into recent times, but in a clear, concise manner rather than dragging us down with loads of detail. At the beginning of the book I was unsure how this read would go. I found myself somewhat taken aback by some of the author's comments. Those weren't something I was anticipating in a book that I thought would be straight history. That was a poor assumption on my part. I had to make myself read this book with a completely open mind, which worked out well. The author used refreshingly different methods to explain his thoughts about each city, as well as tying in historical events and scripture. He described Jerusalem=the city with legacy of the spirit; Athens=city of reason and the mind; Rome=city of law; London=city of literature; New York=city of industry and commerce. When Douglas Wilson first presented these concepts in the introduction I wasn't sure that I completely agreed. In his look at each city's history he did prove his concepts very well. He even managed to explain London's history so well that I wasn't confused (I usually find the twists, turns and numbers of the various English kings and queens highly confusing). In the author's epilogue, he ties together all the cities with the theme of freedom and liberty. I believe I would have enjoyed this more if the theme would have been expressed through each city rather than saved for an "epilogue" because it left me feeling a bit like the "epilogue" was an afterthought. All in all, I did enjoy this book and I did learn some things. I am recommending this people who find history a less than pleasing subject. I believe they will enjoy this quick walk through history with an entertaining author. I am a member of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program (
  4. College Station, Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 29, 2009
    College Station, Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    When I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. My instincts were right; this was a great book. Douglas Wilson takes a look at five cities (Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York City) and explains how their histories build on each other, overlap and affect each other, and intersect with the growth of Gods kingdom on earth. One of the best things that Wilson does is talk a little about the legacy each city leaves and that these legacies have liberty in common. Jerusalems legacy is primarily spiritual, ultimately allowing for spiritual liberty through the death and resurrection of Jesus at Jerusalem. Athens legacy is primarily in the areas of reason and democracy. Many of our current democratic principles originated in Athens, although they looked very differently there. The pursuit of reason is a noble one that has largely continued in the Christian west. The primary legacy handed down by Rome is justice under the law. The existence of the empire provided a stability under which justice could be administered. It was a rough justice, but it was recognizable as justice. The legacy of London is one of literary freedom. Some of the greatest literature ever produced has historically come from London, including Tyndales Bible and the King James Version Bible. New Yorks legacy is one that is still being determined, but by all accounts must include economic or financial liberty.5 Cities that Ruled the World is a great overview of the histories of these cities. It is easy to read and full of great stories. If you are a preacher, teacher, or other public speaker, there are a number of things that would make great illustrations. I whole-heartedly recommend this book. I already have some friends that want to borrow and read it. After that, it will hold a continued place on my shelf.More information about 5 Cities that Ruled the World can be found at Thomas Nelsons product page. I am a member of Thomas Nelsons Book Review Blogger program.
  5. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    November 19, 2009
    Jon Gilbert
    I have always enjoyed big cities. They offer a large variety of multicultural events and a swarms of people from all over the world. When I heard about 5 Cities that Ruled the World by Douglas Wilson, I was excited about reading and reviewing it. I am not one to jump into reading historical books. I will watch documentaries about aspects of history, but my reading travels other directions for the most part. All that to say that reading this was a stretch. Unfortunately, it confirmed the reason why I don't do much reading of history. Excepting the occasional interesting anecdote about the cities (Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York) I was rather bored with the book. I felt cheated, wanting to know more than what I was given. The subtitle offered to answer how these cities shaped global history, but didn't deliver much substance. I would have felt better served had Wilson chosen to stay within the parameters of a specific aspect of global history, instead of jumping all over the board.This was reviewed for Thomas Nelson(
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