A World Lit Only by Fire, by Manchester, William
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- ISBN: 9780316545563 | 0316545562
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 6/1/1993
It speaks to the failure of medieval Europe, writes popular historian William Manchester, that"in the year 1500, after a thousand years of neglect, the roads built by the Romans were still the beston the continent." European powers were so absorbed in destroying each other and in suppressingpeasant revolts and religious reform that they never quite got around to realizing the possibilities ofcontemporary innovations in public health, civil engineering, and other peaceful pursuits. Instead, theywaged war in faraway lands, created and lost fortunes, and squandered millions of lives. For all thewastefulness of medieval societies, however, Manchester notes, the era created the foundation for theextraordinary creative explosion of the Renaissance. Drawing on a cast of characters numbering in thehundreds, Manchester does a solid job of reconstructing the medieval world, although some scholars maydisagree with his interpretations.