Book Review: 5 Cities That Ruled the World by Douglas Wilson

I’ve had this book for a long time. I think I got it in October or November. But, with some of the changes in my life, I had to reprioritize. I started reading books about getting a new job or working as a freelancer. Unfortunately, this one didn’t make it back up to the top of my ever-growing book pile again. It seems like the entire world changed since I first got this book. The program that I got the book from, Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Bloggers, has been completely redesigned as “Booksneeze”. Try them out if you’d like to get free books in exchange for a 200 word review.

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.You can buy it from my affiliate link below.

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