Eyewitness to History

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9780380729685: Eyewitness to History

Imagine. . . Witnessing the destruction of Pompeii. . . Accompanying Julius Caesar on his invasion of Britain. . . Flying with the crew of The Great Artiste en route to dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. . .

Civilization's most momentous events come vibrantly alive in this magnificent collection of over three hundred eyewitness accounts spanning twenty-four turbulent centuries -- remarkable recollections of battles, atrocities, disasters, coronations, assassinations and discoveries that shaped the course of history, all related in vivid detail by observers on the scene.

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About the Author:

John Carey is Merton Professor of English at Oxford University. A distinguished critic and broadcaster, he is the author of four previous books on history and literature, and the editor of The Faber Book of Science. He lives in England.

Review:

A wonderful book to browse in--a treasury of curious, touching memorabilia, shocking facts, and occasional stretches of brilliant writing. It deserves a place by the bedside of every literate insomniac. (Jonathan Raban The Observer)

The book is a mosaic of startling, unforgettable images...[Carey] has created something rarer than history. He has made the past tangible, often terrifying. To read Eyewitness to History is to be assaulted with voices and images that will linger long after the accounts in formal histories are forgotten. These scenes will last not necessarily because they are artfully rendered, but because they draw on one of the most resonant sentences in English: I was there, and I saw it with my own eyes. (Edward Dolnick Wall Street Journal)

A quite stunning collection. There are descriptions in this book so fresh that they sear themselves into the imagination. (Jeremy Paxman The Independent)

This unusual 700-page anthology of eyewitness accounts invites readers to dine with Attila the Hun, gaze on daffodils with Dorothy Wordsworth, attend Gauguin's impromptu wedding to a Tonga girl and roam Africa with Stanley as he searches for Livingston...This collection...is endlessly fascinating; its firsthand reports of acts of courage, cruelty, intolerance, discovery and simple pleasures burn indelible images into the mind. (Publishers Weekly)

This book is a found treasure; it is also Pandora's box revisited. Make a list for yourself of the moments you would chose from history, and look at what you're saying about your politics, sins, desires and hopes. (John Calvin Batchelor Chicago Tribune)

It's impossible not to be captivated by Eyewitness to History...These narratives make history come alive as no scholarly tone ever could. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

This book will make a history buff out of anyone. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

This collection is endlessly fascinating; its firsthand reports of acts of courage, cruelty, intolerance, discovery and simple pleasures burn indelible images into the mind. (Publishers Weekly)

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Carey, John
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