Countries with ailing birth-rates should subsidise this book. It makes me want to have babies just so I can read them this when they turn 9 or 10. It is a broad, lovely, human account of human history (largely European). Written in one big flurry as the NAZIs rose to power, it sparkles with the strength of a conviction that no matter how bad the past is, or how awful the present seems, humans are still worth fighting for.
Writing about what some people call “the dark ages”…
But there was more to it than that. It wasn’t all dark. It was more like a starry night. For above all the dread and uncertainty in which ignorant people lived like children in the dark – frightened of witches and wizards, of the Devil and evil spirits – above it all was the bright starlit sky of the new faith, showing them the way. And just as you don’t get lost so easily in the woods if you can see the stars like the Great Bear or the Pole Star, people no longer lost their way completely, no matter how much they stumbled in the dark. For they were sure of one thing: God had given souls to all men, and they were all equal in his eyes, beggars and kings alike. This meant there must be no more slaves – that human beings must no longer be treated as if they were thing. That the one, invisible, God the Creator of the World, who through his mercy saves mankind, asks us to be good.
Your Correspondent, Realised he could never be trusted as a historian considering how he meddles with his browser’s history