by Philippe Gigantes.
This is an interesting book by an interesting man,
someone who has served in the Royal Navy and the Canadian Senate and government,
someone who has been a reporter for the Observer.
This purposefully short book is not a history per se
but a study of power,
an attempt ‘to explain why history happened as it did …
to highlight powerful,
men and women who marked their times and ours’.
It conforms to the view that the history is the story of great men or rather,
that our world is the result of certain individuals whose thoughts and actions have proved decisive.
The first part deals with specific individuals:
is concerned with
‘those who insist on breaking or circumventing society’s rules … the grand acquisitors’.
This part covers the great epochs in history :
the decline of the Roman Empire,
the French Revolution,
the twentieth century’s world wars
and so on.
All these events were the results of actions by ‘the grand acquisitors
[ who ]
in their need for freedom to achieve their desires,
wage war on society’s need for order’.
In other words,
the lust for power is the deciding theme in man’s history.
This is not so much a layman’s history of the world
as a layman’s thoughts on the nature of history.
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