Distinguished group of historians answers key questions about the past — and about the present and future. What wins wars? Why do empires rise and fall? What makes a great leader? What causes nationalism? How do spiritual movements spread? These are the questions in the forefront of our minds today but they meant just as much to people in the past. How did earlier generations tackle them, and how far can historians use the lessons of the past to help find some answers? Drawing on examples from ancient Greece to Tony Blair’s Britain, leading historical thinkers address twenty of the really big questions that have been asked over the centuries: What is history? How does personality affect politics? What is the impact of technology on social change? How do intellectual movements start? How do our physical bodies and our private lives impact history? Each essay is accompanied by commentary by a journalist, discussing the views of other leading thinkers, today and in the past. The result is a stimulating ride over continents and across centuries in search of answers that are sometimes surprising, often controversial, and all of great relevance to how we live today. From the Hardcover edition
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