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  • Persian Fire

  • The First World Empire, Battle for the West
  • By: Tom Holland
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows, Tom Holland
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Persian Fire

By: Tom Holland
Narrated by: Mark Meadows,Tom Holland
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Publisher's Summary

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For 70 years, victory - rapid, spectacular victory - had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks of the mainland managed to hold out. The Persians were turned back. Greece remained free. Had the Greeks been defeated at Salamis, not only would the West have lost its first struggle for independence and survival, but it is unlikely that there would ever have been such an entity as the West at all.

Tom Holland's brilliant book describes the very first 'clash of Empires' between East and West. Once again he has found extraordinary parallels between the ancient world and our own. There is no competing popular book describing these events.

©2005 Tom Holland (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Persian Fire

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Excellent

Loved this book, however, I think the title is somewhat misleading. The majority of the book deals with Greek history as it relates to the Persian wars, I would have liked it to deal more with Persian history as it relates to the Greek wars. Subtle, but important difference.

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4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • D
  • 24-04-2020

not what it says on the box.

This isn't, as the description goes, a history of the Persian Empire. Rather, it is another history of the Greco/Persian wars with a bit at the start about the origin of the Persian Empire. Darius' exploits in India get two lines. The campaign against the Scythians less than a paragraph. The book ends generations before the end of the Persian Empire.

Holland does an excellent job crafting a gripping narrative, but this book is not as described.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the retelling of historical fact in an easy listening and exciting manner

Exciting and easily grasp presentation of historical fact. I loved the way Holland gives background detail and perhaps some minor Herodotus like personal perspective in the building of the the drama that was the Persian War. Outstanding.

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  • Overall
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Excellent

Dramatic reflection of scholarly history. Lively portrait of bygone grandeur, ancient attitudes and foundational actions.

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The story you think you know

Well read, well paced. Great story telling.
Titled chapters help navigation.
Fantastic insight into the story you think you know.

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