A History of Christianity The First Three Thousand Years

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The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos

One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters—a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until now.Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland—some still in their teens—helped transform the Jewish youth groups into resistance cells to fight the Nazis. With courage, guile, and nerves of steel, these “ghetto girls” paid off Gestapo guards, hid revolvers in loaves of bread and jars of marmalade, and helped build systems of underground bunkers. They flirted with German soldiers, bribed them with wine, whiskey, and home cooking, used their Aryan looks to seduce them, and shot and killed them. They bombed German train lines and blew up a town’s water supply. They also nursed the sick and taught children.

Yet the exploits of these courageous resistance fighters have remained virtually unknown.

As propulsive and thrilling as Hidden Figures, In the Garden of Beasts, Band of Brothers, and A Train in Winter, The Light of Days at last tells the true story of these incredible women whose courageous yet little known feats have been eclipsed by time. Judy Batalion—the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors—takes us back to 1939 and introduces us to Renia Kukielka, a weapons smuggler and messenger who risked death traveling across occupied Poland on foot and by train. Joining Renia are other women who served as couriers, armed fighters, intelligence agents, and saboteurs, all who put their lives in mortal danger to carry out their missions. Batalion follows these women through the savage destruction of the ghettos, arrest and internment in Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, and for a lucky few—like Renia, who orchestrated her own audacious escape from a brutal Nazi jail—into the late 20th century and beyond.

Powerful and inspiring, featuring twenty black and white photographs, The Light of Days is an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds.  

The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II

Inspired by the true World War II history of the few bookshops to survive the Blitz, The Last Bookshop in London is a timeless story of wartime loss, love and the enduring power of literature.

August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and blackout curtains that she finds on her arrival were not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.

Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.

The Venice Sketchbook

Love and secrets collide in Venice during WWII in an enthralling novel of brief encounters and lasting romance by the New York Times bestselling author of The Tuscan Child and Above the Bay of Angels.

Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper…Venice. Caroline’s quest: to scatter Juliet “Lettie” Browning’s ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for than sixty years.

It’s 1938 when art teacher Juliet Browning arrives in romantic Venice. For her students, it’s a wealth of history, art, and beauty. For Juliet, it’s poignant memories and a chance to reconnect with Leonardo Da Rossi, the man she loves whose future is already determined by his noble family. However star crossed, nothing can come between them. Until the threat of war closes in on Venice and they’re forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret that will bind them forever.

Key by key, Lettie’s life of impossible love, loss, and courage unfolds. It’s one that Caroline can now make right again as her own journey of self discovery begins.

The Secret Stealers

A female American spy in Nazi occupied France finds purpose behind enemy lines in a novel of unparalleled danger, love, and daring by the Charts bestselling author of The Beantown Girls.

Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at a private school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan.

Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down to earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war.

Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life.

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War

An exploration of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war
In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.
Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?
In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?”
Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.

The Warsaw Orphan

In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality and that it's the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.

Using Sara's credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face to face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara's cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm's way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever.

From Nazi occupation to the threat of a communist regime, The Warsaw Orphan is the unforgettable story of Elzbieta and Roman's perilous attempt to reclaim the love and life they once knew.

The Last Night in London


New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a story of friendship past and present, love, and betrayal that moves between war torn London during the Blitz and the present day.


A captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal – and finding hope in the darkness of war.

London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck – she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever.

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre WWII London. Maddie, healing from past trauma and careful to close herself off to others, finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, Precious’ enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’ haunting past – and the secrets she swore she’d never reveal …

The Elephant of Belfast

Inspired by true events, this vivid and moving story of a young woman zookeeper and the elephant she's compelled to protect through the German blitz of Belfast during WWll speaks to not only the tragedy of the times, but also to the ongoing sectarian tensions that still exist in Northern Ireland today—perfect for readers of historical and literary fiction alike.

In October 1940, twenty year old zookeeper Hettie Quin meets Violet, a three year old elephant arriving at the Belfast docks from Ceylon. Soon she becomes Violet's dedicated zookeeper at the Bellevue Zoo. In mourning for the recent loss of her sister and the abandonment of her father, she finds contentment in her relationship with Violet and her fellow zookeepers.

Six months later, in April 1941, Belfast is attacked. One evening, over five hours, 674 bombs are dropped and almost a thousand civilians are killed. During the bombings, Hettie Quin fights to save her elephant and survive the destruction and escalating sectarian unrest of the city.

Inspired by the life of Denise Austin, S. Kirk Walsh deftly renders the changing relationship between Hettie and her young charge, and their growing dependence on each other for survival and solace. The Elephant of Belfast is a complicated portrait of love, loss, grief, and resilience.

Churchill's Secret Messenger: A WW2 Novel of Spies & the French Resistance

A riveting story of World War II and the courage of one young woman as she is drafted into Churchill’s overseas spy network, aiding the French Resistance behind enemy lines and working to liberate Nazi occupied Paris…

London, 1941: In a cramped bunker in Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, underneath Westminster’s Treasury building, civilian women huddle at desks, typing up confidential documents and reports. Since her parents were killed in a bombing raid, Rose Teasdale has spent hours than usual in Room 60, working double shifts, growing accustomed to the burnt scent of the Prime Minister’s cigars permeating the stale air. Winning the war is the only thing that matters, and she will gladly do her part. And when Rose’s fluency in French comes to the attention of Churchill himself, it brings a rare yet dangerous opportunity.

Rose is recruited for the Special Operations Executive, a secret British organization that conducts espionage in Nazi occupied Europe. After weeks of grueling training, Rose parachutes into France with a new codename: Dragonfly. Posing as a cosmetics saleswoman in Paris, she ferries messages to and from the Resistance, knowing that the slightest misstep means capture or death.

Soon Rose is assigned to a new mission with Lazare Aron, a French Resistance fighter who has watched his beloved Paris become a shell of itself, with desolate streets and buildings draped in Swastikas. Since his parents were sent to a German work camp, Lazare has dedicated himself to the cause with the same fervor as Rose. Yet Rose’s very loyalty brings risks as she undertakes a high stakes prison raid, and discovers how much she may have to sacrifice to justify Churchill’s faith in her .

The Paris Apartment

A heart wrenching novel that unearths generations of secrets and sacrifices perfect for fans of The Paris Orphan and The Lost Girls of Paris.

When a woman inherits a Parisian apartment undisturbed since WWII, she discovers that it may hold the key to unraveling her cold and distant great grandmother's secret life a past of sacrifice during a mission to protect those she loved.

The Peoples Songs dJect justice but because iteals with the slightly ifferent angle the actual evolution of the anthropological and sociological aspects of a religion as well as what is worshipped within it "THAT IS FAR FASCINATING TO ME "is far fascinating to me a history of the church though you couldn t is far fascinating to me For a history of the church though you couldn t much better than this without evoting your time in semester sized chunks and maybe not even thenHonestly to hold onto the mystery and conviction of a religion on t study its history This book should have been called Christianity A Speculative History from a Somewhat Antagonistic Viewpoint I only read the first 150 pages plenty far enough to understand how MacCulloch feels about Christianity Most of the book is by nature Extrapolation Based On A Very Fragmented Set based on a very fragmented set ocuments and conflicting histories but MacCulloch is always overanxious to undermine Christianity by taking huge leaps of speculation and is never at least that I saw in the first 150 pages willing to remain neutral or actually go the other My Name is Bob directionI found his writing style to be good and the idea for the book is fantastic I m fully prepared toeal with problems in history and with the faults of Christians throughout history but I m not willing to read a book by an author I feel I can t trust or have to constantly second guess Because of that the bits of information I gleaned are all mentally footnoted as being something to go back and verify from a less biased sourceHere are a few examplesYet at the heart of the Egypt and Exodus story is something which no subseuent Israelite fantasist would have wished to make up because it is an embarrassment the hero and leader of the Exodus the man presented as writing the Pentateuch itself has a name which is not only non Jewish but actually Egyptian Moses My response is that if the Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years is it so surprising and embarrassing that they eventually adopt Egyptian names If the implication is that Moses was actually Egyptian why oesn t MacCulloch just say that It wouldn t be the longest logical jump he makes in the bookLater this is what MacCulloch concludes about the Beatitudes There is nothing gentle meek or mild about the Billy Bragg driving force behind these stabbing inversions of normal expectations They form a code of life which is a chorus of loveirected to the loveless or unlovable of painful honesty expressing itself with embarrassing Polly Prices Totally Secret Diary directness of joyful rejection of any counsel suggesting careful self regard or prudence That apparently is what the Kingdom of God is like Really Only the most literalistic reading of such a poetic passage could lead to such an imbecilic interpretation MacCulloch makes similar mistakes of interpretation of various other passages in the New Testament notably in the Lord s Prayer and the command to leave theead to bury their eadWhen writing about the resurrected Christ note resurrected he says He repeatedly appeared to those who had known him in ways which confused and contradicted the laws of physics Again we are talking about a ressurected being Why is physics even relevantWhen he refers to Paul and his esire to teach of salvation through Christ alone MacCulloch phrases it this way Paul managed to find a proper in the Tanakh to sum up what he wanted to say This comes across as incredibly condescending to take for granted that Paul was just manipulating the Tanakh to justify his message If MacCulloch had left out managed to find and replaced it with found it would have made all the The Majors Daughter difference It is maybe a small infraction on its own but it was for me the last strawIn a way I m reallyisappointed to stop reading this The parts of the book that talk about the origins of the Old Testament and the influence of Socrates and Aristotle on Christianity are great The Miss Shumway Waves a Wand discussion ofiffering ideas of Satan comparisons of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes ideas on prophecy and life after The Touch death in the Old Testament and the obsession with the virginity of Mary are all fascinating For now though I mone I On His Majestys Service don t have time to verify every reference and Ion t trust MacCulloch to give it to me straight What religion am I asks Homer Simpson in one episode of his family s eponymous cartoon I m the one with all the well meaning rules that Different Class don t work out in real lifeuhChristianity One of the many pleasures in Diarmaid MacCulloch s amazingly comprehensive book is getting a handle on what historical basis there is for the rules andoctrines of this prolific and mercurial religion which nowadays seems characterized by extreme reactions Are living in a time of tremendous religious awareness when both believers and non believers are The Essential Good Food Guide deeply engaged by uestions of religion and tradition seeking to understand the violence sometimes perpetrated in the name of God The son of an Anglican clergyman MacCulloch writes witheep feeling about faith His last book The Reformation was chosen by ozens of publications as Best Book of the Year and won the National Book Critics Circle Award This awe inspiring follow up is a landmark new history of the faith that continues to shape the worl. A History of Christianity The First Three Thousand YearsThis book may be too ambitious It claims to cover three thousand years of global history but it oes so sketchily most years of global history but it In Defence of Dogs does so sketchily most its focus being on first the Middle East and second Europe and America The Britishness of the author is clear as is the fact that he himself is not a Christian The content ranges from the breezy as in hisescriptions of modern trends to the ense as in his treatment of the controversies animating the earliest church councils Most readers will find parts of it objectionable or perhaps find its omissions soStill it is not a bad read MacCulloch writes well enough peppering his tale with occasional amusing anecdotes or light sprinklings of wit and sarcasm I found none of it boring and some of it most particularly his treatment of Christianity in sub Saharan Africa informativeMy greatest objection to this enormous undertaking is that MacCulloch offered very little insight to the mysteries of the Christian faith From my perspective such mysteries are those elements of Christian belief that appear to fly in the face of experience reason and common sense How was it for instance that people murdered other people over uestions of the exact nature of the the procession of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity or for any number of other to me at least obscure reasons That they id so is fact Why they said they The City in Mind did so is often on record MacCulloch reports on these matters well enough What heoesn t Revenge (The Red Ledger do is offer insight into the real interests and passions involved into the psychologies of those people I want in other words a book that makes such concerns real to me rather than just another at aistance No One Wants You description of the surfaces of history I ll begin my review this way there are a few reviewers whoid not like this book The City Of Heavenly Tranquillity due to the secular but by no means anti Christian perspective most educated readers would expect from a serious church historian Naturally many of these reviewers associate MacCulloch with the atheistic academic left which I m sure would come as a surprise to the author given his background in the Church of England If Christian apologetics masked as church history is what you are looking for then I have a few titles for you but they are tear your eyeballs out badSuffice it to say I have been looking for a book like this one for a long time and Ioubt a better book on church history will be written anytime soon The book is information Penguins Poems for Life dense and ratherry but in all fairness to MacCulloch a litany of jokes may have added a pound or two to this already hefty tome Diarmaid oesn t spare us any etailsI was tempted to give this book 4 stars instead of 5 because it is the kind of book where you often have to read a passage than once and even then the etails on t always stick That being said I found it rather engrossing and regularly consulted other books on my shelf when reading itA very enriching read MacCulloch makes reading exhaustive history exhilarating rather than exhausting and although everyone will have a favourite nit to pick mine being the Divine Beauty dubious treatment of Hegel and the absence of anything about Erigena only the mostie hard partisan could claim that this is anything other than brilliant Ignore anyone who tells you it s anti insert your own sect here and read it Take your time And I m sure you ll be mining the recommended reading section at the back of the book before you ve finished chapter 7 at the latest What I want to know is how MacCulloch manages to tell a linear story in a way that Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone doesn t pervert the thematic content or maybe he s written a thematically arranged book whichoesn t pervert the temporal changes In either case a great relief from most long histories which are full either of repetition or of anachronies Finally I would guess that this is the only perspective from which such a book could be written son of a clergyman friend of but not believer in the religion who obviously nonetheless cares greatly not only about its history but also about its survival Avoid of course if you want a biased slanted interpretation of any given point As a Down to the Sea in Ships double priests kid both my parents were Anglican clergy an assumption was usually made that I knew uite a bit about Christianity This was not accurate as I neither had much interest in the subject nor access to aecent history about the faith MacCulloch has rectified this with A History Of Christianity Detailed yet readable he takes an unbiased look at both the good and bad of the religion never apologizing for either He also Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides, doesn t ignore the spiritual faith. Once in a generation a historian will redefine his field producing a book thatemands to be read a product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity is such a book Breathtaking in ambition it ranges back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and covers the world following the three main strands of the Christian faith Christianity will teach modern readers things that have been lost in time about how Jesus' message spread and how the New Testament was formed We follow the Christian story to al. Aspect of his subject matter explaining it as some of the rationale of Christians actions yet not subscribing to it either Highly recommended for anyone interested in religion and its effect on society This is a very good history It Dog Years depresses me a bit because it is written in the cynical anti establishment style which is typical of the educated elite today but it is valuable for its uality and the insight which it offers regarding the multitude ofifferent takes on Christianity most of them sincere and justified none of them isolated from political expediency which were the fruit of the early Church Its uite humbling for those who maintain the correct Chain of Fire doctrines and at the same time gives one the justification for preferring the views that one holds Oddly enough the last word in a huge tome seems to tell that it is of all things theoctrine of original sin that gives Christianity its most promising hope for continued relevance into the future This book is seriously insane I m only halfway through and we ve already covered Rome early popes African christians the Orthodox Church the beginnings of various brotherhoods and convents ways to pray Constantine early theologians and philosophers pergatory the energy of God I can t list everything The only issue I have is that it s just too much at once This is the perfect book for someone studying theologyThe Virgin Mary the Tartars the reformation and restoration Martin Luther Methodist and baptist churches celebration by slaves French Revolutionv Bible Production Free Masons uakers witches missionaries Jesuits the end of the British empire Bonhoeffer the Nazi regime Pentocostalism teaching evolution apartheid the list is endless This is a monumental piece of work by an erudite scholar It covers the whole range of Christian history from its roots in Judaism to modern The Devils Elbow (Mrs. Bradley, day As a starting point itelves into the Old Testament contrasting it s God jehovah a jealous and vengeful God with the loving God that sacrifices his son in the New TestamentIt shows the rise of Christianity from an obscure Jewish sect through the rebranding by St Paul and on to an established state religion It is a truly astonishing journey Throughout its history Christianity evolves slewing off new offshoots whilst some early established churches wither and The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur die particularly in the middle east and central asia Modern Christianity is the largest and mostynamic religion in the world I must confess that I got lost at times in trying to comprehend the infinitesimal gradations in interpretations of the substance of God and the trinity that has caused so much trouble in early Christianity and also in the bewildering array of Maharaj different churches and shades of thought in later times Considering that this book comprises a thousand pages it rattles along and subjects are introduced andealt with succinctly though not superficially before we get to the next topic A good book It took three library renewals to get through this book and thanks to an ice storm the fifth this year I still owe the library a one ay fine a whole nickel that they thank you "for and ump in a esk rawer with a bunch of rubber bands and I love "and The Stanforth Secrets (Lovers and Ladies, dump in aesk rawer with a bunch of rubber bands and I love in the country and having that library and then work kind of slammed me a little so it s just been sitting there languishing on my currently reading shelf for two weeks And in all that time I still haven t Come Up With Something up with something insightful or clever to say I keep coming up with jokes like You know what they say An atheist is just someone who s studied their religion Honestly this book was really very good It s history which I love and religious history which utterly fascinates me with the scale and grandeur of brutality people are willing to inflict on other people in the name of charity and salvation "The whole book which kept switching from the macro to the "whole book which kept switching from the macro to the with expert timing by the way I just kept picturing all of this three thousand year saga a hiccup on the evolutionary timescale playing out from the vast vantage point of elsewhere in our galaxy where we re not even a blip of starlight in eep space And if it idn t seem petty before wellBack own on an earthly scale or not even that on a continent s scale country by country the epic and the exhaustive scope of MacCulloch s research has to be praised I can t imagine taking on a scholarship of that magnitude It s just bewildering in breadth and meticulous in etail All told though I much preferred Robert Wright s The Evolution of God not because it oes the sub. L corners of the globe filling in often neglected accounts of conversions and confrontations in Africa and Asia And we The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels, discover the roots of the faith that galvanized America charting the rise of the evangelical movement from its origins in Germany and England This book encompasses all of intellectual history we meet monks and crusaders heretics and saints slave traders and abolitionists andiscover Christianity's essential role in riving the enlightenment and the age of exploration and shaping the course of World War I and World War II We. .


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