December 8, 2009

Book Review: 5 Cities that Ruled the World – How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, & New York Shaped Global History – Douglas Wilson

5 Cities that Ruled the World“Jerusalem represents the soul set free.  Athens established the ideal of free inquiry.  Rome passed on to us liberty of movement, liberty under law.  London was the place where literary imagination was set free.  And New York, with its commercial success, has shown us freedom to trade, and the subsequent freedom from want.” p. 189.

This book is not my normal cup of tea.  Typically, I tend towards fiction or non-fiction that addresses Christian living, but when I read the synopsis for 5 Cities I was intrigued.  The quote by George Santayana “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” ran through my mind so I signed up to receive it.  I am extremely glad that I did.  Not only was 5 Cities an engaging read but I found myself educated in ways that I did not expect.  I appreciated the author’s in depth analysis of how each of these cities helped shape the world we live in today.  I also appreciated how as opposed to many history books that I have read (mostly from my school days) the author was not afraid to bring the Biblical narrative into the discussion and relate how these cities were affected by people of faith as well as how these cities affected people of faith.  One of the most stunning discoveries for me in this book was the fact that within a few paragraphs the author brought into focus a part of the Old Testament that has been blurry for me for years.  I can’t in good conscience tell you what that revelation was as it would rob you of the opportunity to glean a lot of great information from reading 5 Cities yourself.

Overall I give this book a 4 out of 5, happy reading.

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