8 Events that Led to World War I
World War I, which lasted from 1914 until 1918, introduced the world to the horrors of trench warfare and lethal new technologies such as poison gas and tanks. The result was some of the most horrific carnage the world had ever seen, with more than 16 million military personnel and civilians losing their lives.
It also radically altered the map, leading to the collapse of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian empires that had existed for centuries, and the formation of new nations to take their place. Long after the last shot had been fired, the political turmoil and social upheaval continued, and ultimately led to another, even bigger and bloodier global conflict two decades later.
Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe
The Emperor Justinian reunified Romes fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals who had separated Italy, Spain, and North Africa from imperial rule. In his capital at Constantinople he built the world’s most beautiful building, married its most powerful empress, and wrote its most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome’s fortunes for the next five hundred years.
Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed five thousand people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.
Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror
Beginning with the chaotic post–World War I landscape in which religious belief was one way of reordering a world knocked off its axis, Sacred Causes is a penetrating critique of how religion has often been camouflaged by politics. All the bloody regimes and movements of the 20th century are masterfully captured here, from Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Franco’s Spain to the war on terror. With style and sophistication, Michael Burleigh shows how the churches, in their various guises, have been swayed by–and contributed to–conflicting secular currents.
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America
Twenty-five years ago, when Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists first spoke of the United States becoming a Christian nation that would build a global Christian empire, it was hard to take such hyperbolic rhetoric seriously. Today, such language no longer sounds like hyperbole but poses, instead, a very real threat to our freedom and our way of life. I