When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Russell Shorto draws on this remarkable archive in The Island at the Center of the World, which has been hailed by The New York Times as “a book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past.”
The Dutch colony pre-dated the “original” thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive, young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.
“[A] wonderfully entertaining history of pirates and piracy . . . a rip-roaring read . . . fascinating and unexpected.”—Men's Journal
This rollicking account of the golden age of piracy is packed with vivid history and high seas adventure. David Cordingly, an acclaimed expert on pirates, reveals the spellbinding truth behind the legends of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Sir Francis Drake, the fierce female brigands Mary Read and Anne Bonny, and others who rode and robbed upon the world's most dangerous waters. Here, in thrilling detail, are the weapons they used, the ships they sailed, and the ways they fought—and were defeated. Under the Black Flag also charts the paths of fictional pirates such as Captain Hook and Long John Silver. The definitive resource on the subject, this book is as captivating as it is supremely entertaining.
Praise for Under the Black Flag
“[A] lively history . . . If you've ever been seduced by the myth of the cutlass-wielding pirate, consider David Cordingly's Under the Black Flag.”—USA Today, “Best Bets”
“Engagingly told . . . a tale of the power of imaginative literature to re-create the past.”—Los Angeles Times
“Entirely engaging and informative . . . a witty and spirited book.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Plenty of thrills and adventure to satisfy any reader.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Peter Wilson's book is a major work, the first new history of the war in a generation, and a fascinating, brilliantly written attempt to explain a compelling series of events. Wilson's great strength is in allowing the reader to understand the tragedy of mixed motives that allowed rulers to gamble their countries' future with such horrifying results. The principal actors in the drama (Wallenstein, Ferdinand II, Gustavus Adolphus, Richelieu) are all here, but so is the experience of the ordinary soldiers and civilians, desperately trying to stay alive under impossible circumstances.
The extraordinary narrative of the war haunted Europe's leaders into the twentieth century (comparisons with 1939-45 were entirely appropriate) and modern Europe cannot be understood without reference to this dreadful conflict.
We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history.
The Invention of Science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Wootton argues that the Scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts—Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe—whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition.
From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know.
An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries.
The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power. He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn’t alter his violent temperament. His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man. He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances.
Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty of his works are in existence today. Many others–no one knows the precise number–have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or hanging above a fireplace, mistaken for a mere copy.
Prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ–its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland, that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.
Praise for The Lost Painting
“Jonathan Harr has gone to the trouble of writing what will probably be a bestseller . . . rich and wonderful. . . . In truth, the book reads better than a thriller. . . . If you're a sucker for Rome, and for dusk . . . [you'll] enjoy Harr's more clearly reported details about life in the city.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Jonathan Harr has taken the story of the lost painting, and woven from it a deeply moving narrative about history, art and taste—and about the greed, envy, covetousness and professional jealousy of people who fall prey to obsession. It is as perfect a work of narrative nonfiction as you could ever hope to read.”—The Economist
No one was better equipped to report on the affairs of the Plymouth community than William Bradford. Revered for his patience, wisdom, and courage, Bradford was elected to the office of governor in 1621, and he continued to serve in that position for more than three decades. His memoirs of the colony remained virtually unknown until the nineteenth century. Lost during the American Revolution, they were discovered years later in London and published after a protracted legal battle. The current edition rendered into modern English and with an introduction by Harold Paget, remains among the most readable books from seventeenth-century America.
New York Times bestselling historian Ian Grey threads his way through these turbulent centuries, his focus on the private lives of the tsars themselves, the rulers whose personal histories are entwined with the history of the empire. He brings to life the passions, rages, intrigues, and greatness of the remarkable men and women who guided the destiny of Russia and changed the world.
It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a bankrupt and disgraced man who possessed disarming charisma and dangerously heretical ideas.
With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, Jeronimus soon sparked a mutiny that seemed certain to succeed—but for one unplanned event: In the dark morning hours of June 3, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The commander of the ship and the skipper evaded the mutineers by escaping in a tiny lifeboat and setting a course for Java—some 1,800 miles north—to summon help. Nearly all of the passengers survived the wreck and found themselves trapped on a bleak coral island without water, food, or shelter. Leaderless, unarmed, and unaware of Jeronimus’s treachery, they were at the mercy of the mutineers.
Jeronimus took control almost immediately, preaching his own twisted version of heresy he’d learned in Holland’s secret Anabaptist societies. More than 100 people died at his command in the months that followed. Before long, an all-out war erupted between the mutineers and a small group of soldiers led by Wiebbe Hayes, the one man brave enough to challenge Jeronimus’s band of butchers.
Unluckily for the mutineers, the Batavia’s commander had raised the alarm in Java, and at the height of the violence the Company’s gunboats sailed over the horizon. Jeronimus and his mutineers would meet an end almost as gruesome as that of the innocents whose blood had run on the small island they called Batavia’s Graveyard.
Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Batavia’s Graveyard is the next classic of narrative nonfiction, the book that secures Mike Dash’s place as one of the finest writers of the genre.
From the Hardcover edition.
— Washington Post Book World
Aldous Huxley's "brilliant" (Los Angeles Times) and gripping account of one of the strangest occurrences in history, hailed as the "peak achievement of Huxley’s career" by the New York Times
In 1632 an entire convent in the small French village of Loudun was apparently possessed by the devil. After a sensational and celebrated trial, the convent's charismatic priest Urban Grandier—accused of spiritually and sexually seducing the nuns in his charge—was convicted of being in league with Satan. Then he was burned at the stake for witchcraft.
A remarkable true story of religious and sexual obsession, The Devils of Loudon is considered by many to be Aldous Huxley's nonfiction masterpiece.
In December 1667, maverick physician Jean Denis transfused calf’s blood into one of Paris’s most notorious madmen. Days later, the madman was dead and Denis was framed for murder. A riveting exposé of the fierce debates, deadly politics, and cutthroat rivalries behind the first transfusion experiments, Blood Work takes us from dissection rooms in palaces to the streets of Paris, providing an unforgettable portrait of an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science today.
In A Letter Concerning Toleration, composed as early as 1667 but not published for political reasons until 1689 — after the "Glorious Revolution" — Locke pleaded for religious tolerance on grounds similar to his argument for political freedom, i.e., that all men are by nature "free, equal, and independent," and are entitled to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom of worship. To help guarantee the latter freedom, Locke called for separation of church and state.
The basis of social and political philosophy for generations, these works laid the foundation of the modern democratic state in England and abroad. Their enduring importance makes them essential reading for students of philosophy, history, and political science.
"Shapin's account is informed, nuanced, and articulated with clarity. . . . This is not to attack or devalue science but to reveal its richness as the human endeavor that it most surely is. . . .Shapin's book is an impressive achievement."—David C. Lindberg, Science
"Shapin has used the crucial 17th century as a platform for presenting the power of science-studies approaches. At the same time, he has presented the period in fresh perspective."—Chronicle of Higher Education
"Timely and highly readable . . . A book which every scientist curious about our predecessors should read."—Trevor Pinch, New Scientist
"It's hard to believe that there could be a more accessible, informed or concise account of how it [the scientific revolution], and we have come to this. The Scientific Revolution should be a set text in all the disciplines. And in all the indisciplines, too."—Adam Phillips, London Review of Books
"Shapin's treatise on the currents that engendered modern science is a combination of history and philosophy of science for the interested and educated layperson."—Publishers Weekly
"Superlative, accessible, and engaging. . . . Absolute must-reading."—Robert S. Frey, Bridges
"This vibrant historical exploration of the origins of modern science argues that in the 1600s science emerged from a variety of beliefs, practices, and influences. . . . This history reminds us that diversity is part of any intellectual endeavor."—Choice
"Most readers will conclude that there was indeed something dramatic enough to be called the Scientific Revolution going on, and that this is an excellent book about it."—Anthony Gottlieb, The New York Times Book Review
A Vermeer painting shows a military officer in a Dutch sitting room, talking to a laughing girl. In another canvas, fruit spills from a blue-and-white porcelain bowl. Familiar images that captivate us with their beauty--but as Timothy Brook shows us, these intimate pictures actually give us a remarkable view of an expanding world. The officer's dashing hat is made of beaver fur from North America, and it was beaver pelts from America that financed the voyages of explorers seeking routes to China-prized for the porcelains so often shown in Dutch paintings of this time, including Vermeer's. In this dazzling history, Timothy Brook uses Vermeer's works, and other contemporary images from Europe, Asia, and the Americas to trace the rapidly growing web of global trade, and the explosive, transforming, and sometimes destructive changes it wrought in the age when globalization really began.
“For everyone who loves Nantucket Island this is the indispensable book.” —Russell Baker
In his first book of history, Nathaniel Philbrick reveals the people and the stories behind what was once the whaling capital of the world. Beyond its charm, quaint local traditions, and whaling yarns, Philbrick explores the origins of Nantucket in this comprehensive history. From the English settlers who thought they were purchasing a “Native American ghost town” but actually found a fully realized society, through the rise and fall of the then thriving whaling industry, the story of Nantucket is a truly unique chapter of American history.
A Hangman’s Diary is not only a collection of detailed writings by Schmidt about his work, but also an account of criminal procedure in Germany during the Middle Ages. With analysis and explanation, editor Albrecht Keller and translators C. Calvert and A. W. Gruner have put together a masterful tome that sets the scene of execution day and puts you in Master Franz Schmidt’s shoes as he does his duty for his country.
Originally published more than eighty years ago, A Hangman’s Diary gives a year-by-year breakdown on all of Master Schmidt’s executions, which include hangings, beheadings, and other methods of murder, as well as explanations of each crime and the reason for the punishment. An incredible classic, A Hangman’s Diary is more than a history lesson; it shows the true anarchy that inhabited our world only a few hundred years ago.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
A collection of writings by the Ambrosian monk Francesco Maria Guazzo, the Compendium comprehensively and penetratingly describes the entire practice and profession of witchcraft. First published in 1608, the commentaries came at an appropriate time. Contemporary accounts noted that witchcraft and sorcery had "spread in all directions," leaving "no country, town, village, or district, no class of society" free from the practice. This probing work, by a distinguished writer and scholar who perceived the devil as an evil force seeking to destroy men's bodies and souls, was an attempt to help man live piously and devoutly, thus guarding against such seductions and manipulations.
Reproduced from a rare limited edition published in 1929 and supplemented with many erudite editorial notes by the Rev. Montague Summers, the Compendium Maleficarum includes profoundly serious discussions of witches' pacts with the devil, finely detailed descriptions of witches' powers, poisons, and crimes; sleep-inducing spells and methods for removing them, apparitions of demons and specters, diseases caused by demons, and other topics. Also examined in detail are witches' alleged powers to transport themselves from place to place, create living things, make beasts talk and the dead reappear; witches' use of religion to heal the sick, laws observed by witches to cause and cure illness, differences between demoniacs and the bewitched, and other subjects from the realm of the supernatural.
Here is an encyclopedic tract of incalculable worth to the historians and student of the occult and anyone intrigued by necromantic lore, sabbats, sorceries, and trafficking with demons.
Consisting of direct translations of the trial testimony, The Trial of Tempel Anneke portrays a large and varied cast of characters including trades people, farmers, local nobility, village drunkards, and Tempel Anneke herself. Tempel Anneke was in several ways typical of those accused of witchcraft, yet from the testimony she emerges as a complex and controversial figure. She was literate and owned a few books and herbals; she prided herself on her medical and pharmaceutical knowledge and until the final stages of the trial when her confession was extracted under torture, she was sharp, assertive, and even witty in her responses to questioning. This English translation offers direct archival insight into the workings of 17th century law, contemporary understandings of justice, perceptions of natural and magical causes, and above all, the social history of the period.
While other witchcraft materials exist, this is the only text available in English that allows students to follow a witchcraftÿtrial from beginning to end. Highly readable, this astonishing narrative is perfectly suited to being read as a complete document. The useful additions of introduction, appendices, glossary, and index provide readers with important background information so that they can engage directly with the material.
- Louis Fischer
The first modern Russian was Peter the Great. In this enthralling biography of that remarkable ruler, award-winning historian Ian Grey paints an illuminating portrait - clear, objective, and without malice or sentimentality. Here we have, life-size, not only the great czar, but the man who fell in love with a peasant girl and made her his empress; the father who was betrayed by his son; the giant who carried all his life the scars of a childhood terror; the soldier, sailor, laborer, innovator, and architect of a nation.
Founded nearly twenty-seven centuries ago as the Greek colony of Byzantium, the city was harassed by the barbaric Thracians, attacked by the Persians, vied for by the Athenians and Spartans. Weakened and dispirited, its citizens finally were forced to seek the protection of Rome, and the city became little more than a Roman outpost. Then, in the fourth century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I decided to build his capital on the site. It was in the new city of Constantinople that ancient Greco-Roman culture was married to Eastern Orthodox Christianity and that Western civilization became Christian civilization. As the center of the vast Byzantine Empire, the city was one of the richest and most important on earth. But because of its wealth, it was sacked by the Crusaders in 1204. And because of its strategic location, it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
Since then, as the city of Istanbul, it has remained an international metropolis, a city of East and West, a city whose great paintings, mosaics, statuary, and architecture reflect the many cultures that have been centered there and the many ages the city has survived. Here is its story.
One seventeenth-century visitor called The Hague "the mightiest village in Europe" - an epithet that could still be used today to describe this seat of Dutch government and home to its royal family. That same visitor also called it one of the most beautiful villages in Europe - no less correct - for the same circumstances that rendered The Hague mighty despite its size also rendered the Netherlands wealthy.
The Netherlands owed its vast riches to the sea, and it used that wealth not only to attain power but also to attract artistic talent. As the country came to be a leader on the world stage, the so-called Golden Age of the Netherlands encouraged the production of art and architecture of remarkable allure that is still on display today.
The history and people of this small country are explored through its rise to international prominence and then its development into one of the most tolerant and progressive countries in the world.
Captain John Smith's 1607 voyage to Jamestown was not his first trip abroad. He had traveled throughout Europe, been sold as a war captive in Turkey, escaped, and returned to England in time to join the Virginia Company's colonizing project. In Jamestown migrants, merchants, and soldiers who had also sailed to the distant shores of the Ottoman Empire, Africa, and Ireland in search of new beginnings encountered Indians who already possessed broad understanding of Europeans. Experience of foreign environments and cultures had sharpened survival instincts on all sides and aroused challenging questions about human nature and its potential for transformation.
It is against this enlarged temporal and geographic background that Jamestown dramatically emerges in Karen Kupperman's breathtaking study. Reconfiguring the national myth of Jamestown's failure, she shows how the settlement's distinctly messy first decade actually represents a period of ferment in which individuals were learning how to make a colony work. Despite the settlers' dependence on the Chesapeake Algonquians and strained relations with their London backers, they forged a tenacious colony that survived where others had failed. Indeed, the structures and practices that evolved through trial and error in Virginia would become the model for all successful English colonies, including Plymouth.
Capturing England's intoxication with a wider world through ballads, plays, and paintings, and the stark reality of Jamestown--for Indians and Europeans alike--through the words of its inhabitants as well as archeological and environmental evidence, Kupperman re-creates these formative years with astonishing detail.
Centering his book on the Eastern Seaboard of North America, the Caribbean, Africa, and what is now Great Britain, Horne provides a deeply researched, harrowing account of the apocalyptic loss and misery that likely has no parallel in human history. This is an essential book that will not allow history to be told by the victors. It is especially needed now, in the age of Trump. For it has never been more vital, Horne writes, “to shed light on the contemporary moment wherein it appears that these malevolent forces have received a new lease on life.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"A masterly analysis of the Caribbean plantation slave society, its lifestyles, ethnic relations, afflictions, and peculiarities.--Journal of Modern History
"A remarkable account of the rise of the planter class in the West Indies. . . . Dunn's [work] is rich social history, based on factual data brought to life by his use of contemporary narrative accounts.--New York Review of Books
"A study of major importance. . . . Dunn not only provides the most solid and precise account ever written of the social development of the British West Indies down to 1713, he also challenges some traditional historical cliches.--American Historical Review
This book presents a selection of contemporaries’ accounts of the king’s trial and their reactions to it, as well as a report of the trial of the king’s own judges once the wheel of fortune turned and monarchy was restored. It uses the words of people directly involved to offer insight into the causes and consequences of these momentous events.
The book focuses on the vast changes that took place in Western civilization between 1450 and 1650, from Gutenberg’s printing press and the subsequent revolution in the spread of ideas to the close of the Thirty Years’ War. Eire devotes equal attention to the various Protestant traditions and churches as well as to Catholicism, skepticism, and secularism, and he takes into account the expansion of European culture and religion into other lands, particularly the Americas and Asia. He also underscores how changes in religion transformed the Western secular world. A book created with students and nonspecialists in mind, Reformations is an inspiring, provocative volume for any reader who is curious about the role of ideas and beliefs in history.
A stunning variety of people lived in this coastal society, struggling to work together across deep cultural divides and in the process creating a dynamic creole culture. Kriger digs further than any previous historian of Africa into the records of England’s Royal African Company to illuminate global trade patterns, the interconnectedness of Asian, African, and European markets, and—most remarkably—the individual lives that give Making Money its human scale.
By inviting readers into the day-to-day workings of early modern trade in the Atlantic basin, Kriger masterfully reveals the rich social relations at its core. Ultimately, this accessible book affirms Africa’s crucial place in world history during a transitional period, the early modern era.
The island’s main city, Willemstad, had a non-Dutch majority composed largely of free blacks, urban slaves, and Sephardic Jews, who communicated across ethnic divisions in a new creole language called Papiamentu. For Linda M. Rupert, the emergence of this creole language was one of the two defining phenomena that gave shape to early modern Curaçao. The other was smuggling. Both developments, she argues, were informal adaptations to life in a place that was at once polyglot and regimented. They were the sort of improvisations that occurred wherever expanding European empires thrust different peoples together.
Creolization and Contraband uses the history of Curaçao to develop the first book-length analysis of the relationship between illicit interimperial trade and processes of social, cultural, and linguistic exchange in the early modern world. Rupert argues that by breaking through multiple barriers, smuggling opened particularly rich opportunities for cross-cultural and interethnic interaction. Far from marginal, these extra-official exchanges were the very building blocks of colonial society.
In 1825, when Pepys's memoirs were first published, Francis Jeffrey of The Edinburgh Review declared, "We can scarcely say that we wish it a page shorter... it is very entertaining thus to be transported into the very heart of a time so long gone by; and to be admitted into the domestic intimacy, as well as the public councils of a man of great activity and circulation in the reign of Charles II." Edited and abridged by literary critic and author Richard Le Gallienne, this edition features an Introduction by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Many came, as Thomas Paine stated, in search of asylum. But they also came with an intent to preserve and refresh aspects of life in their homelands.
In 1776, Europe boasted a rich civilization, alive with dynamic ideas, flourishing arts, and promising concepts in science. The foundations of industry and business were established, and social reforms were being undertaken, which Europeans took with them as they colonized and traded. They had come in contact with Eastern civilizations, above all, China. Here, from award-winning historian Marshall B. Davidson, is the story of the world of 1776.
It gives a fresh portrayal of Henry VIII, cutting away the misleading mythology that surrounds him in order to provide a vivid account of this passionate, wilful, intelligent and destructive king. This compelling biography will be essential reading for all early modern students.
One of Europe’s most important literary figures, Jonathan Swift was also an inspired humorist, a beloved companion, and a conscientious Anglican minister—as well as a hoaxer and a teller of tales. His anger against abuses of power would produce the most famous satires of the English language: Gulliver’s Travels as well as the Drapier Papers and the unparalleled Modest Proposal, in which he imagined the poor of Ireland farming their infants for the tables of wealthy colonists.
John Stubbs’s biography captures the dirt and beauty of a world that Swift both scorned and sought to amend. It follows Swift through his many battles, for and against authority, and in his many contradictions, as a priest who sought to uphold the dogma of his church; as a man who was quite prepared to defy convention, not least in his unshakable attachment to an unmarried woman, his “Stella”; and as a writer whose vision showed that no single creed holds all the answers.
Impeccably researched and beautifully told, in Jonathan Swift Stubbs has found the perfect subject for this masterfully told biography of a reluctant rebel—a voice of withering disenchantment unrivaled in English.
This sense of overwhelming trauma gives this major new history its title: God’s Fury, England’s Fire. The name of a pamphlet written after the king’s surrender, it sums up the widespread feeling within England that the seemingly endless nightmare that had destroyed families, towns and livelihoods was ordained by a vengeful God – that the people of England had sinned and were now being punished. As with all civil wars, however, ‘God’s fury’ could support or destroy either side in the conflict. Was God angry at Charles I for failing to support the true, protestant, religion and refusing to work with Parliament? Or was God angry with those who had dared challenge His anointed Sovereign?
Michael Braddick’s remarkable book gives the reader a vivid and enduring sense both of what it was like to live through events of uncontrollable violence and what really animated the different sides. The killing of Charles I and the declaration of a republic – events which even now seem in an English context utterly astounding – were by no means the only outcomes, and Braddick brilliantly describes the twists and turns that led to the most radical solutions of all to the country’s political implosion. He also describes very effectively the influence of events in Scotland, Ireland and the European mainland on the conflict in England.
God’s Fury, England’s Fire allows readers to understand once more the events that have so fundamentally marked this country and which still resonate centuries after their bloody ending.
Leviathan is divided into four parts: In the first part, Of Man, Hobbes presents a view of human beings and of the natural world in general that is materialistic and mechanistic. In the second part, Of Commonwealth, he defends the theory of absolute sovereignty, the view that the government has all the political power and has the right to control any aspect of life. In the third part, Of a Christian Commonwealth, he critiques concepts like revelation, prophets, and miracles in such a way that it becomes doubtful whether they can be rationally justified. In the fourth part, Of the Kingdom of Darkness, he explains various ways in which priestly religion has corrupted religion and transgressed the rights of the sovereign.
This fascinating book describes how the Swedes first arrived in continental Europe during the 30 Years War, under their king Gustavus Adolfus. Just in time to roll back the reactionary Catholic tide and buttress the Lutherans, the Swedes proved more innovative in battle than their opponents, using the new arm of artillery plus tactical formations to establish supremacy on the battlefield. This horrific war still exists in collective memory as the worst travail in German history, even worse than the world wars; however along with the salvation of Protestantism the emergence of the Swedes as a power to be reckoned with meant new geopolitical complications for the existing powers of Europe.
Adolphus was eventually killed in battle, but a successor, Charles XII, renewed Swedish aggression—this time for the object of conquest—as he found that no army on the Continent could stand against his legions from the north. As later military leaders would find, however, the conquest of Russia comprised a considerable overreach, and Charles was eventually trapped and defeated deep in the Ukraine, at Poltava.
In this work renowned military historian Henrik O. Lunde unveils a fascinating chapter in the foundation of Western history that is seldom seen or recognized by English or American readers.
Using the stories of ordinary people, Block illustrates how engaging with the powerful rhetoric and rituals of Christianity was central to survival. Isobel Criolla was a runaway slave in Cartagena who successfully lobbied the Spanish governor not to return her to an abusive mistress. Nicolas Burundel was a French Calvinist who served as henchman to the Spanish governor of Jamaica before his arrest by the Inquisition for heresy. Henry Whistler was an English sailor sent to the Caribbean under Oliver Cromwell's plan for holy war against Catholic Spain. Yaff and Nell were slaves who served a Quaker plantation owner, Lewis Morris, in Barbados. Seen from their on-the-ground perspective, the development of modern capitalism, race, and Christianity emerges as a story of negotiation, contingency, humanity, and the quest for community.
Ordinary Lives in the Early Caribbean works in both a comparative and an integrative Atlantic world frame, drawing on archival sources from Spain, England, Barbados, Colombia, and the United States. It pushes the boundaries of how historians read silences in the archive, asking difficult questions about how self-censorship, anxiety, and shame have shaped the historical record. The book also encourages readers to expand their concept of religious history beyond a focus on theology, ideals, and pious exemplars to examine the communal efforts of pirates, smugglers, slaves, and adventurers who together shaped the Caribbean's emerging moral economy.
But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day.
A New York Times Notable Book