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The Last Apocalypse by James Reston, Jr.

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in geology and geophysics, nature

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15 October 2006

Book Review : The Last Apocalypse by James Reston , Jr

In the Acknowledgements to The Last Apocalypse Reston describes his goal for this book “Could I tell the story of 999 A .D . through a series of interlock portraits (Reston 278 . He intends to illustrate important historical events by using a series of writings that will lead from one leader to another . For example , he uses Olaf Trygvesson , winner of the Battle of Maldon as a connection to develop [banner_entry_middle]

his study of Norway Iceland , Greenland , and New Found-land

Reston a two step process to gain information about this time period First , he spent at least eight months doing literary and historical about the period . Having prepared himself with scholastic information he then traveled extensively to visit many of the sites and talked to local experts and historians , important to the end of the first millennium

It is evident that this book was occasioned by the end of the twentieth century since the book was published in 1998 . It is an interesting process to consider the end of the previous millennium in light of the end of the second . Just as the second millennium ended with dire predictions of massive computer and system failures due to the expected Y2K problems , Y1K ended with many people ended with expectations of an apocalypse ending the world . It is amusing to realize that , for all of our advances in technology , our greater awareness of the universe and our sophistication , we still have the same basic fears as our ancestors one thousand years ago

Reston has increased this writer ‘s knowledge of western civilization by shining a light on the people and events of this time period . Prior to reading this book , this writer ‘s knowledge of western civilization made the huge leap in time from the fall of Rome after being sacked by barbarians in 476 A .D . to the Norman Conquest in 1066 A .D . The intervening six centuries was explained away by calling them the Dark Ages . This book extends one ‘s understanding back , not only a few years but it fills in the geographical margins of Europe . Even within the previous study and instruction information was been limited to the later , more powerful states : England , France , and , to a lesser extent Spain . Even within this time and location , ones awareness was limited to recognition of existence of the major powers , but little else . History seemed to be treading water , waiting until the European powers were ready to begin exploration of the world , particularly North America

In the Prologue Reston provides more information about what is intentions are . While doing his research , he found that there was very little actual history as it is known today . Instead of written sources he found that much of the available information was oral . He likens the difference between the saga he is writing and conventional history as being the difference between a painting and… [banner_entry_footer]

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