The Birth of the West by Paul Collins
Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century

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The tenth century dawned in violence and disorder. Charlemagne’s empire was in ruins, most of Spain had been claimed by Moorish invaders, and even the papacy in Rome was embroiled in petty, provincial conflicts. To many historians, it was a prime example of the ignorance and uncertainty of the Dark Ages. Yet according to historian Paul Collins, the story of the tenth century is the story of our culture’s birth, of the emergence of our civilization into the light of day.

The Birth of the West tells the story of a transformation from chaos to order, exploring the alien landscape of Europe in transition. It is a fascinating
narrative that thoroughly renovates older conceptions of feudalism and what medieval life was actually like. The result is a wholly new vision of how civilization sprang from the unlikeliest of origins, and proof that our tenth-century ancestors are not as remote as we might think.

About Paul Collins

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Paul Collins graduated from Harvard with a master of theology, received his doctorate in philosophy in history from the Australian National University, and was ordained a Catholic priest. Since March 2001, when he resigned from active priestly ministry after thirty-three years of service due to a doctrinal dispute with the Vatican, he has been a full-time writer and radio and TV presenter. He lives in Australia.
Published February 12, 2013 by PublicAffairs. 498 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A lively, full-to-bursting history of the turbulent 10th century in Europe, when inner dissention and external marauding began to give way to cohesion and centrality.

Nov 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Birth of the West: Rome, ...

Publishers Weekly

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Amid a panorama of local vendettas and parochial power plays, Collins discerns movements toward a renewed order, initiated by Church reformers and farsighted statesmen, particularly the Saxon kings and queens who knitted Germany into a functioning state and resurrected the Holy Roman Empire.

Dec 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Birth of the West: Rome, ...

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