Earthly Powers: Religion And Politics In Europe From The French Revolution To The Great War

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9780007195725: Earthly Powers: Religion And Politics In Europe From The French Revolution To The Great War

A major work setting out the inextricable link between politics and religion over the past two centuries, from the French Revolution to the Great War.

In this dazzling and hugely relevant book Michael Burleigh explores the way in which religion, broadly construed, functions within European societies.

‘Earthly Powers’ is an examination of the politics of religion and the religion of politics in Europe from the French Revolution until the Great War. Its astonishing scope encompasses the philosophers of the Enlightenment and the influence of thinkers like de Maistre and de Bonald and Lamennais, as well as the pseudo religious aspects of Marxism. It looks at painters like Zoffany and David and analyses their representations of their times. It considers the exploits of O'Connell, hero of Catholic Emancipation, Mazzini, Mickiewicz and Garibaldi, and goes via nineteenth century English and Russian literature, to the epic struggles between Church and State, industry and the rise of Christian socialism. It concludes with the advent of the 'old stone gods' that heralded the totalitarian political religions of the twentieth century.

Throughout, Burleigh's writing is never less than brilliant and absorbing, handling a welter of ideas and historical detail with confidence, verve and sophistication. He is always revealing and original, showing us the deeper workings of history in a way we have never seen before. It confirms him as one of Europe's greatest modern historians.

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Review:

Praise for 'The Third Reich':

'This is writing of the highest order. One can barely envisage a contemporary work of history more lucid, more penetrating or painted onto a broader canvas.' Financial Times

'Astonishing and awe-inspiring. A breathtaking achievement, at once broader and deeper than any other single volume ever published on the subject. It is the product of authentic historical genius.' Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times

'This is a monumental book, a tour de force.' Richard Overy, Sunday Telegraph

'Burleigh calls his work "a new history" and for once that claim is fully justified. An original work in which narrative history, rigorous analytic explanation and unblinking intellectual moral judgement are united with compelling originality.' Michael Andre Bernstein, Los Angeles Times

'Michael Burleigh has produced a modern classic. This book is a masterwork.' Washington Times

'His narrative is eminently accessible, the formidable learning lightly worn, the canvas immense, unpretentious and humane.' Times Literary Supplement

About the Author:

Michael Burleigh is Distinguished Research Professor in Modern History at Cardiff University. He is the author of seven well-received books, including ‘Sacred Causes’ and ‘The Third Reich’, for which he was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2001.

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