Books by Thomas Cahill
Heretics and Heroes
This was an age in which whole continents and peoples were discovered. It was an era of sublime artistic and scientific adventure, but also of newly powerful princes and armies—and of unprecedented courage, as thousands refused to bow their heads to the religious pieties of the past. In these exquisitely written and lavishly illustrated pages, Cahill illuminates, as no one else can, the great gift-givers who shaped our history—those who left us a world more varied and complex, more awesome and delightful, more beautiful and strong than the one they had found.
St. Patrick: The First Missionary
The real St. Patrick neither dressed in green nor chased the snakes from Ireland; instead, he was a kind and courageous former slave who had been stolen from Britain during childhood and brought to Ireland. Though he escaped from slavery, he later returned in triumph to the island of his captivity. From the first volume of his widely acclaimed “Hinges of History” series, Thomas Cahill brings St. Patrick to life, and sheds light on the chaotic but starkly beautiful ancient Ireland.
An eBook short.
Jesus' Little Instruction Book
A Saint on Death Row
Green, an extraordinary young man from the urban ghettos of Houston, was utterly failed by every echelon of society—the Catholic Church, numerous U.S. courts of law, and even his own mother. But from the depths of despair on Death Row, he transcended his earthly sufferings and achieved enlightenment and peace, inciting an international movement against the death penalty and inspiring his personal hero, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to plead publicly for mercy.
A Saint on Death Row is an unforgettable, sobering, and deeply spiritual account that illuminates the moral imperatives too often ignored in the headlong quest for judgment.
Mysteries of the Middle Ages
“Intoxicating.... Cahill's command of rich historical detail makes medieval cities and their colorful characters come to alive.” —The Los Angeles Times
After the long period of decline known as the Dark Ages, medieval Europe experienced a rebirth of scholarship, art, literature, philosophy, and science and began to develop a vision of Western society that remains at the heart of Western civilization today, from the entry of women into professions that had long been closed to them to the early investigations into alchemy that would form the basis of experimental science. On visits to the great cities of Europe-monumental Rome; the intellectually explosive Paris of Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas; the hotbed of scientific study that was Oxford; and the incomparable Florence of Dante and Giotto-acclaimed historian Thomas Cahill brilliantly captures the spirit of experimentation, the colorful pageantry, and the passionate pursuit of knowledge that built the foundations for the modern world.
Pope John XXIII
Elected to the papacy at the age of 76, Pope John XXIII was to have a brief but important reign. Although he had a doctorate in theology, his gifts were pastoral—reaching out to the people of the Church. After his doctorate, he spent nine years working for the socially-minded bishop of Bergamo, acquiring a broad understanding of the problems of the working class. This sympathy for ordinary people was brought out in his papacy. Vatican II, which he convened, brought forth the idea of a church as a community, in which all God's people are a sign of redemption for the human race. Thomas Cahill, in his short biography, gives us the sense of enduring importance of John XXIII's idea.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea
“A triumph of popularization: extraordinarily knowledgeable, informal in tone, amusing, wide ranging, smartly paced.” —The New York Times Book Review
Desire of the Everlasting Hills
"Divertingly instructive...gratifying...[Cahill] makes Jesus a still-living literary presence." —The New York Times
In his subtle and engaging investigation into the life and times of Jesus, Thomas 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.
Journal of a Soul
This Image Books edition features a biographical portrait of Pope John by his personal secretary, Monsignor Loris Capovilla. It also includes several of his most moving prayers, sixty brief thoughts and aphorisms, his "Rules for the Ascetic Life," many of his letters, even his last will and testament. Christians everywhere will welcome the reissue of "one of the most original, interesting, and inspiring revelations of intimate personal experiences ever written," which "ranks well with the classic spiritual autobiographies" (Critic).
Journal of a Soul, the first ever such work from a Roman pontiff, opens new windows onto the soul of the man himself.
The Gifts of the Jews
The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies--a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence--and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, The Gifts of the Jews is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as How the Irish Saved Civilization.
How the Irish Saved Civilization
Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars"—and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.
In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost—they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.
As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.
In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.