The Modern Library Essential World History 4-Book Bundle

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Abridged); Montcalm and Wolfe; History of the Conquest of Mexico; The Naval War of 1812

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Revisit a world of conquest, exploration, and imperial adventure with this Modern Library eBook bundle that includes Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Francis Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe, William H. Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico, and Theodore Roosevelt’s The Naval War of 1812.
 
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (ABRIDGED)
 
Edward Gibbon’s masterpiece, which narrates the history of the Roman Empire from the second to the fifteenth centuries, is widely considered the greatest work of history ever written. This abridgment retains the full scope of the original, while emphasizing elements ignored in all other abridgments—in particular the role of religion in the empire and the rise of Islam.
 
MONTCALM AND WOLFE
 
The result of more than forty years of passionate research, Montcalm and Wolfe is the epic story of Europe’s struggle for dominance of the New World. Thought by many to be Francis Parkman’s greatest work, it is a riveting read and an essential part of any military history collection.
 
HISTORY OF THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO
 
William H. Prescott’s sweeping account of Cortés’s subjugation of the Aztec people has endured as a landmark work of scholarship and dramatic storytelling. This pioneering study presents a compelling view of the clash of civilizations that reverberates in Latin America to this day.
 
THE NAVAL WAR OF 1812
 
Published when its author, Theodore Roosevelt, was only twenty-three years old, The Naval War of 1812 was immediately hailed as a literary and scholarly triumph, and it is still considered the definitive book on the subject. Roosevelt’s inimitable style and robust narrative make The Naval War of 1812 enthralling, illuminating, and utterly essential to every armchair historian.

- About the author -

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

More from Edward Gibbon

Francis Parkman was born in Boston in 1823 and is best known for his masterly seven-volume history, France and England in North America, and for the annual prize awarded by the Society of American Historians in his honor. He died in 1893.

More from Francis Parkman

William Hickling Prescott, the renowned American historian who chronicled the rise and fall of the Spanish empire, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on May 4, 1796. His grandfather had commanded colonial forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolution; his father was a highly respected judge and philanthropist. Prescott was tutored in Latin and Greek by the rector of Trinity Church in Boston and entered Harvard in 1811. In a bizarre accident, Prescott was blinded in the left eye by a crust of bread thrown in a dining-hall fracas. He abandoned plans to study law but went on to graduate in 1814 having earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa. While traveling abroad the following year Prescott temporarily lost the sight in his right eye. With his vision permanently impaired, he aspired to the life of a gentleman-scholar. Prescott launched a career as a man of letters in 1821 with an essay on Byron that appeared in the North American Review. Over the next two decades he contributed regularly to the prestigious Boston literary journal. His most important articles and reviews, including seminal pieces on the theory and practice of historical composition, were later collected in Biographical and Critical Miscellanies (1845) and Critical and Historical Essays (1850).

Under the influence of George Ticknor, a friend and mentor who taught European literature at Harvard, Prescott began learning Spanish in 1824. Engrossed by the history of Spain, he committed himself to tracing its development into a world power. Employing secretaries to read him manuscripts sent from Spanish archives, Prescott set about writing a work of sound scholarship that would also interest a general audience. A phenomenal memory allowed him to compose whole chapters in his mind during morning horseback rides. Later he recorded them on paper using a noctograph, a special stylus for the blind. More than a decade later he finished The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (1837), which enjoyed tremendous critical and popular success on both sides of the Atlantic.

Prescott's fame gained him entrée into Spanish intellectual circles, greatly facilitating research on his next book, History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843), a sweeping account of Cortés's subjugation of the Aztec people. 'Regarded simply from the standpoint of literary criticism, the Conquest of Mexico is Prescott's masterpiece,' judged his biographer Harry Thurston Peck. 'More than that, it is one of the most brilliant examples which the English language possesses of literary art applied to historical narration. . . . [Prescott] transmuted the acquisitions of laborious research into an enduring monument of pure literature.' Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel J. Boorstin agreed: 'The enduring interest in Prescott's Conquest of Mexico comes less from his engaging survey of Aztec civilization than from his genius for the epic. . . . Though Prescott has been called the nation's first 'scientific historian' for his use of manuscript sources, he would live on as a creator of literature.'

Prescott devoted his final years to chronicling the decline of the Spanish empire. He published The Life of Charles the Fifth after His Abdication (1856), a continuation of William Robertson's The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles the Fifth (1769), but only managed to finish the first three volumes of The History of the Reign of Philip the Second (1855-58). William H. Prescott died of a stroke at his home in Boston on January 29, 1859. In assessing his achievements, Daniel J. Boorstin wrote: 'One of Prescott's greatest feats as a 'scientific' historian was to depict the scenes of his drama so vividly without ever having been there--for he never visited Spain, Mexico, or Peru. . . . Prescott created from the rawest of raw material, laboring under physical handicaps and displaying a single-minded courage with few precedents in the annals of literature. . . . He had to discover the landscape, conceive new heroes, and mark their own paths through time. The story of how he made his histories was itself a kind of epic.'

More from William H. Prescott

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, and became the twenty-sixth president of the United States. He was a naturalist, writer, historian, and soldier. He died in 1919.

More from Theodore Roosevelt

The Modern Library Essential World History 4-Book Bundle

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Abridged); Montcalm and Wolfe; History of the Conquest of Mexico; The Naval War of 1812

The Modern Library Essential World History 4-Book Bundle

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