Persian Fire by Tom Holland

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In the fifth century B.C., a global superpower was determined to bring truth and order to what it regarded as two terrorist states. The superpower was Persia, incomparably rich in ambition, gold, and men. The terrorist states were Athens and Sparta, eccentric cities in a poor and mountainous backwater: Greece. The story of how their citizens took on the Great King of Persia, and thereby saved not only themselves but Western civilization as well, is as heart-stopping and fateful as any episode in history. Tom Holland’s brilliant study of these critical Persian Wars skillfully examines a conflict of critical importance to both ancient and modern history.

About Tom Holland

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Historian Tom Holland is the author of the works of history Rubicon, Persian Fire, and The Forge of Christendom. He reviews regularly for the TLS, and has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Virgil for BBC Radio. Rubicon was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the 2004 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, and Persian Fire won the Anglo-Hellenic League's 2006 Runciman Award. @holland_tom
Published June 12, 2007 by Anchor. 464 pages
Genres: History, War, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Why do they hate us? That's what Herodotus wanted to know, and this lively history of the Persian Wars ventures a few answers.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Persian Fire

The Guardian

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As we stand at the start of century that many would like to see as a time when civilisations are doomed to clash, Holland writes of a war between East and West which predates the Crusades, which is older than Islam or Christianity.

Sep 24 2005 | Read Full Review of Persian Fire

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Pete Herner 23 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5