Monday, February 15, 2010


If you like a little history but you're afraid of falling head-first into some huge in-depth tome, have no fear. This book is a brief overview of five cities that have influenced history: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York. It includes a small collection of interesting tid-bits about each city--just enough to satisfy the curious.

The chapters about Athens and Rome will actually be too shallow for most. You'll get the same info you learned in any high school Ancient Civ class. The chapters on New York and London were my favorite, probably because I didn't know much about the history of those cities going into this.

At the end of each chapter, you get a short justification of why the city was included in the book. Wilson argues for each city's importance in shaping history. He credits Jerusalem for its religious influence, Athens for its intellectual influence, Rome for law, London for literature, and New York for commerce. I would have liked to see his arguments expanded because for me, these brief chapter endings were the most interesting and unique parts of the book.

The other unique slant this book boasts in a Christian lens. Emphasis is placed on church history (although again, if you've ever taken a church history class there will be nothing new for you here), and the entire epilogue is a justification for Christian interest in the histories of these cities.

Overall, the book provides a nice start for the Christian (or religiously curious) reader looking for an intro to global history.

Buy it here.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. If you click on the "Buy it here" link and purchase this book, I will receive an affiliate commission.


Jonathon Arntson said...

Is it odd that I am drooling over that book?

Thanks for this post, my mental TBR pile just got a little taller.

Jenny said...

I love this title! I especially like it that London gets credit for literature - literature is great! and London is my favorite city! :)

Cheryl said...

Jonathon, it's a rather short book so it shouldn't make your tbr pile too unwieldy.

Jenny, Dickens gets a lot of credit in that chapter.