The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century

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PublicAffairs, 2013 - History - 484 pages
21 Reviews
"Stimulating, encyclopedic, and often downright funny, this is a book worth remembering." - Stephen O'Shea, Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada) "A lively, full-to-bursting history of the turbulent tenth century in Europe.... Collins presents chaotic upheaval across Europe in an organized and riveting fashion." - Kirkus (starred review) The tenth century dawned in violence and disorder. Charlemagne's empire was in ruins, most of Spain had been claimed by Moorish invaders, and even the papacy in Rome was embroiled in petty, provincial conflicts. The stability once provided by Imperial Rome had dissolved, leaving a perilous landscape behind. Yet the story of the tenth century is the story of our culture's birth. This was the moment that civilization emerged from the Dark Ages into the light of day.The Birth of the West tells the story of a transformation from chaos to order, exploring the alien landscape of Europe in transition. It thoroughly renovates older conceptions of feudalism and what medieval life was actually like. The result is a wholly-new vision of how civilization sprang from the unlikeliest of origins, and proof that our tenth-century ancestors are not as remote as we might think."The Birth of the West is a re-making of what we think we know about the end of the Dark Ages. It is also the gate to the utterly unexpected cosmos of European forebears.... The characters who people The Birth of the West are as familiar as relatives-as indeed they are-groping their way to a cohesive Western culture. The Birth of the West is thus the tale of our birth, and Collins tells it with a narrative grace and elegance which will make readers cherish it." - Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's Ark
  

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Review: The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century

User Review  - Nick Jones - Goodreads

Pretty old-style history. Endless stories about kings and then, oh, let's talk about the peasants for a few pages. Details overwhelm anything like the big picture. Read full review

Review: The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century

User Review  - Julian Haigh - Goodreads

Very enjoyable read about a time that is little understood or appreciated. There appears a confusing muddle of history from 900 - 1400 or so from which our concept of modernity seems to be detached ... Read full review

Contents

From the Fury of the Northmen Lord Deliver Us
1
PART
9
the Fall ofMarozia
33
The Nadir of the Papacy
69
PART
89
Ireland Scotland and Wales
227
PART THREE
244
Her MotherinLaw
269
PART FOUR
291
PART FIVE
361
Acknowledgments
429
Primary Sources
455
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Paul Collins graduated from Harvard with a master of theology, received his doctorate in philosophy in history from the Australian National University, and was ordained a Catholic priest. Since March 2001, when he resigned from active priestly ministry after thirty-three years of service due to a doctrinal dispute with the Vatican, he has been a full-time writer and radio and TV presenter. He lives in Australia.

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