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Book: A World Lit Only by Fire - The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age by William Manchester

Book Review: A World Lit Only by Fire - The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age by William Manchester

categories: Books, History, World, Renaissance, medieval history

Author: William Manchester
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Brand: Back Bay Books

 Modern Historical Myopia

Contemporary world citizens imagine that they can "relate" to citizens of past ages and frequently posit that a time traveler could venture into the past and have lively discourse with leading citizens of that time. Manchester convinced me otherwise. Even with a common language the possibility that any understanding would occur is ludicrous! Each generation is custom made and bound to the world into which it is born by understanding, practice, and aspirations as well as fears and the imperatives of survival.

As the hues of a rainbow bleed seamlessly into the adjoining shade, the march of history blends one age to another, each era being a different color than the predecessor but leading to the following. Modern man imagines himself to be the "smartest" but rarely recognizes the debts to the past or understands the motivations of his forefathers. Manchester reveals the distance covered between the Dark Ages and the Modern era.

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