Desire of the Everlasting Hills
The World Before and After Jesus
By Thomas Cahill
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780385483728, 368pp.)
Publication Date: February 13, 2001
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From the bestselling author of How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews, his most compelling historical narrative yet.
How did an obscure rabbi from a backwater of the Roman Empire come to be the central figure in Western Civilization? Did his influence in fact change the world? These are the questions Thomas Cahill addresses in his subtle and engaging investigation into the life and times of Jesus.
Cahill shows us Jesus from his birth to his execution through the eyes of those who knew him and in the context of his time—a time when the Jews were struggling to maintain their beliefs under overlords who imposed their worldview on their subjects. Here is Jesus the loving friend, itinerate preacher, and quiet revolutionary, whose words and actions inspired his followers to journey throughout the Roman world and speak the truth he instilled—in the face of the greatest defeat: Jesus' crucifixion as a common criminal. Daring, provocative, and stunningly original, Cahill's interpretation will both delight and surprise.
Thomas Cahill is the former director of religious publishing at Doubleday. He divides his time between Rome and New York City.
"Divertingly instructive—gratifying—. [Cahill] makes Jesus a still-living literary presence."—The New York Times
"Engaging—. Cahill strips away the pious accretions of 2000 years so that a picture of Jesus as an actual human being emerges."—BookPage
"A deft march through time and through theology in the making—. [Cahill's] own gift-giving is his ability to climb inside the scholarship and enliven it."—Philadelphia Inquirer
"Cahill constructs his stories as occassions for celebration...He seeks to encourage a sense of appreciation for the gifts offered the present from the past...Each of his books offers moments of genuine insight into the workings of culture, literature, and the human heart." -Luke Timothy Johnson, Commonweal
"Compelling—powerful—. Cahill is a convivial storyteller."—Portland Oregonian