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5 Cities That Ruled the World: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London & New York Shaped Global History [Paperback]

By Douglas Wilson (Author)
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Item description for 5 Cities That Ruled the World: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London & New York Shaped Global History by Douglas Wilson...

Five Cities that Ruled the World examines how and why a handful of cities--Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York--emerged in their respective times of influence to dominate the world stage, directing wealth and power, influencing faith and belief, commanding fear and allegiance, provoking wars and conquests, and shaping the world we live in today. --from publisher description

Publishers Description

In "Five Cities that Ruled the World," theologian Douglas Wilson fuses together, in compelling detail, the critical moments birthed in history's most influential cities --Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York.

Wilson issues a challenge to our collective understanding of history with the juxtapositions of freedom and its intrinsic failures; liberty and its deep-seated liabilities. Each revelation beckoning us deeper into a city's story, its political systems, and how it flourished and floundered.

You'll discover the significance of:

  • Jerusalem's complex history and its deep-rooted character as the city of freedom, where people found their spiritual liberty.
  • Athens' intellectual influence as the city of reason and birthplace of democracy.
  • Rome's evolution as the city of law and justice and the freedoms and limitations that come with liberty.
  • London's place in the world's history as the city of literature where man's literary imagination found its wings.
  • New York's rise to global fame as the city of commerce and how it triggered unmatched wealth, industry, and trade throughout the world.

"Five Cities that Ruled the World" chronicles the destruction, redemption, personalities, and power structures that altered the world's political, spiritual, and moral center time and again. It's an inspiring, enlightening global perspective that encourages readers to honor our shared history, contribute to the present, and look to the future with unmistakable hope.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   236
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 3, 2009
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  1595551360  
ISBN13  9781595551368  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 07:51.
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More About Douglas Wilson

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Douglas Wilson (MA, University of Idaho) is a pastor, a popular speaker, and the author of numerous books. He helped to found Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, and is currently a senior fellow of theology at New St. Andrews College. He blogs regularly at

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > World > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > General Interest > General Topic > History
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Biblical History & Culture

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Reviews - What do customers think about 5 Cities That Ruled The World?

An Entertaining and Educating Book  May 25, 2010
If you are familiar with Douglas Wilson then you already know that he is a fascinating pen-wielder. I started reading Wilson years ago in the pages of the magazine Credenda/Agenda. His style has always appealed to me. In this volume Wilson examines five major historical cities and how their various philosophies and worldviews influenced the entire world. While you may not agree with every conclusion Wilson comes to, you will expand your understanding of the importance of these cities and their contributions, good and bad. And you will be entertained as you do so.
Cities and elements that changed world culture  May 6, 2010
5 Cities that Ruled the World
by Douglas Wilson

Belief, thought, self-rule, imagination and commerce; these are key elements that have lasting effect on human culture. Douglas Wilson has taken a unique perspective on the development of these themes and their ongoing effect on modern culture. In "5 Cities that Ruled the World", Douglas Wilson views these significant elements through the lens of five individual cities.

While there are a multitude of cities that could be seen to have significant effect on modern culture and belief, Douglas Wilson has chosen five specific cities very specific reasons. This is an interesting book comparing and contrasting some of the most important cities in human history. By the time you've read through each city, you understand why he chose the cities that he did.

Jerusalem gave us the spirit. Athens gave us reason. Rome gave us love. London gave us literature. New York gave us industry and commerce.

Throughout the book, Wilson points out that these different places have given us the freedom to believe, to think, to rule ourselves, to imagine, and to make money. Along with these freedoms come bad, evil, and undesirable things, but in the long run the truth, the beautiful, and the good will be remembered.

The book was well-written and free from "insider" jargon. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in world history, or anyone interested in cultural trends and their roots. I found the book a pleasure to read and look forward to sharing it with my friends.

"5 Cities that Ruled the World"; each of these cities has good and bad points. Years later, we remember the good, and continue to learn from that good that emanates from these "Cities that Ruled the World".
Only Christian Fundamentalists Need Apply...  Apr 22, 2010
This is bar none one of the worst books I've ever read in my life. In this book, an amateur historian cites the Bible as a historical primary source. The Bible. I don't know theologians who'd have the audacity to do that. Anyway, needless to say scholarship like that automatically deserves a one star rating. That's just the beginning - the whole book is littered with references to dubious Fundamentalist secondary sources when writing about cities I presume he's never so much as visited. I may as well tell you what the book is about, not that it matters or makes much sense. Sensible readers should have run away in fear by now.

The author has a bizarre argument about how various cities promote Fundamentalist Christianity (which goes hand in hand with liberty) and vice versa. The conclusion is that ultimately NY is to be the new capital of a theocratic/capitalist empire. Apparently the author doesn't watch the news much, because NYC is a pretty liberal place and that whole financial crash had an impact, too. I'm absolutely serious - this is what the book is about. I'm appalled that anyone really thinks like this.

Recommended for those utterly blinded by faith and immune to reason- those rare few who find Professional Wrestling far too intellectual of a pursuit and prefer evenings of monster trucks, roadkill, and inbreeding.
Great Historical Perspective  Apr 7, 2010
5 Cities That Ruled the World is a history book. But this isn't boring, academic history. It's not overly simplified either. Douglas Wilson declares his thesis, or the purpose for this book, in the 2nd paragraph on page xi:

Here we will consider the stories and legacies of the great cities of Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York and what they mean to us.

They ruled the world in a unique way, unlike other cities. No earthly city can rule the world forever, but many more than five have ruled the political world temporarily. These five have been singled out because, despite their moments of glory shared with many others, they have also had an enormous influence down to the present day.

I'll summarize the point here simplistically: Jerusalem gave us spirit. Athens gave us democracy. Rome gave us law. London gave us literature. New York gave us commerce.

The book is not that simplistic though. I believe that Douglas Wilson gives us his point in a well written, amusing manner. Easygoing humor is sprinkled throughout the book, and is always good for a chuckle.

I love history. History is a subject that gets me really excited. As such, I can't say that this book gave me much new information. Certainly, I learned a lot from it. I really appreciated Douglas Wilson's perspective on history. It was definitely a nice break from the business and job hunting books I've been reading a lot of lately.

My verdict: get this book
5 Cities that Ruled the World review  Apr 5, 2010
Thomas Nelson sent me 5 Cities that Ruled the World to review at my request and I have to say it has been a great read. Author Douglas Wilson has done an amazing job of reviewing the historical impacts of five cities: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London and New York.

Walking the reader through the significance of the past, Wilson draws the reader's attention to history's fingers playing in the present. As a history buff, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and still learned many interesting facts and cultural pieces of knowledge. Written from a Christian perspective, it is a book I intend to keep in our home library for years to come.

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