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Beginning beneath the walls of Troy and culminating in 1930s Europe, a magisterial exploration of the nature of heroism in Western civilization.
In this riveting and insightful cultural history, Lucy Hughes-Hallett brings to life eight exceptional men from history and myth to explore our timeless need for heroes. As she re-creates these extraordinary lives, Hughes-Hallett illuminates the attractions and dangers of hero worship. This is a fascinating book about dictatorship and democracy, seduction and mass hysteria, politics and culture, and the tensions between being good and being great.
“One of the many virtues of Heroes is that it values the attraction of monumental history while underscoring its dangers. . . . An enthralling book that achieves a felicitous compromise between skepticism and wonder.” –The Wall Street Journal
“Wonderful. . . . A great treat. . . . Gloriously packed with meaningful curiosities, the kinds of things that make a historical moment flash into being.” –The Washington Post Book World
“Authoritative. . . . Artful. . . . [Hughes-Hallett] achieves a balanced and well-assessed survey, with nimble wit, wide knowledge and what seems like peerless insight.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Hughes-Hallett is a wonderful writer and these stories—often-byzantine narratives of reversals and comebacks, schemes and counterschemes—are carried by the graceful vigor of her prose. . . . Thrilling and captivating.” –The Wilson Quarterly