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The World: A Family History (Hardcover)

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From the acclaimed author of The Romanovs—a magisterial history of humanity viewed through the lens of its most powerful dynasties

In this sprawling and eye-opening book, best-selling historian Simon Sebag Montefiore chronicles the world’s great dynasties across human history through engrossing tales of palace intrigue, glorious battle, and the real lives of people who held unfathomable power. He trains his eye on founders of humble origin, like Sargon, the Mesopotamian cupbearer sent to help defeat a rival who returned with an army to dethrone his own king, and Liu Bang, a peasant who became a rebel leader and founded the Han dynasty. Montefiore illuminates the achievements of fearsome emperors, including Yax Ehb Xook, whose Mayan city-state Tikal boasts some of the most monumental ancient architecture that exists today; Jayavarman II, who proclaimed himself “universal king” and whose Khmer empire in South Asia heralded a thousand years of Indic ascendancy; and Ewuare, the African emperor who built a capital city that rivaled any in Europe. He writes, too, about remarkable women rulers, like Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh, and Maria Theresa, the only woman to rule the Habsburg empire. These families represent the breadth of human endeavor, with bloody civil wars, treacherous conspiracies, and shocking megalomania alongside flourishing culture, moving romances, and enlightened benevolence. A dazzling epic history as spellbinding as fiction, The World is testament to Montefiore’s acclaimed career as our poet laureate of power. 

About the Author


SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE is a historian of Russia and the Middle East whose books are published in more than forty languages. Catherine the Great and Potemkin was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar won the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards, and Young Stalin won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, the Costa Biography Award, and le Grande Prix de la biographie politique. He received his Ph.D. from Cambridge, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in London.
 
Product Details
ISBN: 9780525659532
ISBN-10: 0525659536
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: January 31st, 2023
Pages: 1296
Language: English