Powers and Thrones
The instant Sunday Times bestseller
A Times, New Statesman and Spectator Book of the Year
‘Simply the best popular history of the Middle Ages there is’ Sunday Times
‘A great achievement, pulling together many strands with aplomb’ Peter Frankopan, Spectator, Books of the Year
‘It’s so delightful to encounter a skilled historian of such enormous energy who’s never afraid of being entertaining’ The Times, Books of the Year
‘An amazing masterly gripping panorama’ Simon Sebag Montefiore
‘A badass history writer… to put it mildly’ Duff McKagan
‘A triumph’ Charles Spencer
Dan Jones’s epic new history tells nothing less than the story of how the world we know today came to be built. It is a thousand-year adventure that moves from the ruins of the once-mighty city of Rome, sacked by barbarians in AD 410, to the first contacts between the old and new worlds in the sixteenth century. It shows how, from a state of crisis and collapse, the West was rebuilt and came to dominate the entire globe. The book identifies three key themes that underpinned the success of the West: commerce, conquest and Christianity.
Across 16 chapters, blending Dan Jones’s trademark gripping narrative style with authoritative analysis, Powers and Thrones shows how, at each stage in this story, successive western powers thrived by attracting – or stealing – the most valuable resources, ideas and people from the rest of the world. It casts new light on iconic locations – Rome, Paris, Venice, Constantinople – and it features some of history’s most famous and notorious men and women.
This is a book written about – and for – an age of profound change, and it asks the biggest questions about the West both then and now. Where did we come from? What made us? Where do we go from here?
Also available in audio, read by the author.
A terrifically colourful and compelling narrative history... A hugely impressive achievement, bustling and sizzling with life on every page... This is now simply the best popular history of the Middle Ages there is' * Sunday Times * Excellent... Combines [Jones's] usual narrative exuberance and playfulness with the authority and span to bring together an amazing masterly gripping panorama' -- Simon Sebag Montefiore Empires come and go, religions form and break up, ideas clash and mingle - 1,100 years, 16 sweeping chapters, 700 pacey pages... Masterly, muscular and direct' -- Ed Smith, New Statesman, Books of the Year 'A badass history writer... to put it mildly' -- Duff McKagan 'A great achievement, pulling together many strands with aplomb' -- Peter Frankopan, Spectator, Books of the Year 'An audacious, entertaining page-turner. Dan Jones covers a thousand years of history with elegance and panache' -- Dan Carlin, Hardcore History Dan Jones is in a class of his own... Read this book to wrap your head around 1,000 years of history with as much ease and enjoyment as relaxing into a good novel' -- Professor Suzannah Lipscomb Jones is careful to entertain, as well as enlighten... Flashes of humour exist on the same page as academic rigour... Copious colour plates turn Powers and Thrones into a great gift, as well as a great read' * Aspects of History * 'An epic new history of the Middle Ages, which grippingly chronicles the forces that defined the period - and which would go on to shape ours' * Huffington Post * 'This gripping history manages to bring novelty to a well-trod subject, spanning the Dark Ages and the globe. Traversing crises and empires and shedding new light on famous subjects, this archive of a fascinating time enthralls till the final page' * Newsweek Magazine * I've never read such a comprehensive and storming history of the Middle Ages, nor am I ever likely to again. Crusaders swept me away, but this? This is electric: pumping energy into an era glossed over... Literally, I was in tears at the end; I didn't want the storytelling to end' -- David Learner (Toppings Booksellers, Ely) 'A rip-roaring read and exhilarating to the very end' * International Times * 'Casts a new light on places such as Rome, Paris, Venice and Constantinople; and it features some of history's most notorious and famous men and women' * Bexhill-on-Sea Observer * Despite the sweeping subject matter, Jones's reading feels relaxed as he delights in peculiar details and revels in witty asides... [darting] through the middle ages, from the Romans to the rise of Islamic empires' * Guardian * 'With his trademark narrative style, Dan Jones packs the thousand years between the fall of the Roman Empire [...] and the protestant Reformation into 16 chapters' * Choice * 'From Rome to Paris, Venice to Constantinople, this gripping historical narrative touches on some of history's most famous and notorious men and women, while asking exactly how the West came to be the way it is. And you thought the perfect dad gift didn't exist' * Stylist * 'Tells the story of an essential era of world history with skill and style' * New York Times * 'A great achievement, pulling together many strands with aplomb' * Spectator * 'Ambitious but brilliant' * Catholic Herald * 'It's so delightful to encounter a skilled historian of such enormous energy who's never afraid of being entertaining' * The Times, 21 best history books of 2021 * 'Mr Jones has a way of keeping things real' -- Tessa Dunlop, Aspects of History 'Dan Jones is a brilliant storyteller. He keeps his hand on the tiller on this marathon voyage, guiding the reader with matchless dexterity. A triumph' -- Charles Spencer, Aspects of History 'It is as gripping as all his books' -- Barney White-Spunner, Aspects of History 'Jones is that rarity, a scholar with a novelist's feel for pace and drama, and this reads more like a thriller than a sober historical account' * Tablet * 'In an age when medieval culture is easily and explicitly repurposed for ill, we are lucky to have a book that insists on portraying Europe's deep connections with other parts of the world and that wants to rehydrate the Middle Ages back from the flat, racist version. We are luckier still to have a book that narrates the past so thoroughly, vividly and joyfully' * Independent *
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