Synopses & Reviews
Beginning in the heady days just after the First Crusade, this volume—the third in the series that began with The History of the Ancient World
and The History of the Medieval World
—chronicles the contradictions of a world in transition.
Popes continue to preach crusade, but the hope of a Christian empire comes to a bloody end at the walls of Constantinople. Aristotelian logic and Greek rationality blossom while the Inquisition gathers strength. As kings and emperors continue to insist on their divine rights, ordinary people all over the world seize power: the lingayats of India, the Jacquerie of France, the Red Turbans of China, and the peasants of England.
New threats appear, as the Ottomans emerge from a tiny Turkish village and the Mongols ride out of the East to set the world on fire. New currencies are forged, new weapons invented, and world-changing catastrophes alter the landscape: the Little Ice Age and the Great Famine kill millions; the Black Death, millions more. In the chaos of these epoch-making events, our own world begins to take shape.
Impressively researched and brilliantly told, The History of the Renaissance World offers not just the names, dates, and facts but the memorable characters who illuminate the years between 1100 and 1453—years that marked a sea change in mankind’s perception of the world.
"Readers hoping for a glimpse into the life and times of Michelangelo and Da Vinci will be disappointed by Bauer's newest (after The History of the Medieval World): 'This is not a history of Ã¢Â€Â˜the Renaissance.' Rather, it is a history of the world during... a rebirth of interest in classical learning.' That said, this volume is still rife with captivating figures, momentous movements, violent wars, and climactic upheavals. Beginning with the 12th-century rise of the Plantagenets in England and ending with the 1453 Ottoman overthrow of the Byzantine Empire, Bauer ranges far and wide, touching on everything from the gruesome murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury; the ascendancy of the first king of the Incan Empire; the terrorization of the Asian Steppe by Mongol hordes; the relocation of the papacy from Rome to Avignon; the birth of the Inquisition in Toulouse, France; the beginnings of the African slave trade; and the bubonic plague's decimating sweep across Europe. In five sections (Renaissances; Invasions, Heresies, and Uprisings; Catastrophes; Regroupings; and Endings), Bauer covers a bewildering amount of territory in her attempt to offer a tantalizing global perspective of a tumultuous epoch. Unfortunately, she too often sacrifices depth for breadth. 22 illus. & 96 maps. Agent: Richard Henshaw, Richard Henshaw Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Another expertly clarified primer by Bauer.... A wide-angle, thorough world survey for students, complete with immensely useful timelines and maps." Kirkus Reviews
The birth of the modern world, in a lively narrative continuation of a best-selling series.
A lively and fascinating narrative history about the birth of the modern world.
About the Author
Susan Wise Bauer is the best-selling author of the Story of the World series for elementary students, author of The Well-Educated Mind, The History of the Ancient World and The History of the Medieval World, and the co-author of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. She is a faculty member in English at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where she teaches writing and literature.