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David Marquand's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books David Marquand recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of David Marquand's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Undoing the familiar notion of the Middle Ages as a period of religious persecution and intellectual stagnation, María Menocal now brings us a portrait of a medieval culture where literature, science, and tolerance flourished for 500 years.The story begins as a young prince in exile—the last heir to an Islamic dynasty—founds a new kingdom on the Iberian peninsula: al-Andalus. Combining the best of what Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures had to offer, al-Andalus and its successors influenced the rest of Europe in dramatic ways, from the death of liturgical Latin and the spread of secular... more
Recommended by David Marquand, and 1 others.

David MarquandThis had a huge influence on me when I was researching my latest book. I think the biggest threat to the values of pluralist democracy in present day Europe is Islamophobia. There is a very serious danger that this will be to the 21st century what anti-semitism was to the last century. I don’t think it has done so yet, but it could. I found the Rosa Menocal book quite inspiring because of what it... (Source)

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The Price of Glory

Verdun 1916

The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 is the second book of Alistair Horne's trilogy, which includes The Fall of Paris and To Lose a Battle and tells the story of the great crises of the rivalry between France and Germany.

The battle of Verdun lasted ten months. It was a battle in which at least 700,000 men fell, along a front of fifteen miles. Its aim was less to defeat the enemy than bleed him to death and a battleground whose once fertile terrain is even now a haunted wilderness.

Alistair Horne's classic work, continuously in print for...
Recommended by David Marquand, and 1 others.

David MarquandI included this because I was hugely influenced both by the book and by actually visiting Verdun, which I did at the beginning of my work on my recent book. The point about Verdun is that it was the most unbelievably destructive battle ever fought on the European continent, west of the old Soviet Union. It had an enormous symbolic significance for me and also for a whole generation of French... (Source)

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Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.
Recommended by David Marquand, Keith Lowe, and 2 others.

David MarquandThis book is all about the way that Europe has managed – not always totally successfully, but managed nevertheless – to come to terms with its bloody and horrible past. (Source)

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A Nobel Laureate offers a dazzling new book about his native country
India is a country with many distinct traditions, widely divergent customs, vastly different convictions, and a veritable feast of viewpoints. In The Argumentative Indian," Amartya Sen draws on a lifetime study of his country's history and culture to suggest the ways we must understand India today in the light of its rich, long argumentative tradition.
The millenia-old texts and interpretations of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, agnostic, and atheistic Indian thought demonstrate, Sen reminds us, ancient and...

William DalrympleIt’s definitely not the first book you should read on India, it’s for someone who knows the country well, but it’s a wonderfully erudite, discursive, witty, clever book. (Source)

Kaushik BasuDepending how you count, almost any nation could be portrayed as argumentative. But he uses this central theme to range over an amazing breadth of scholarship (Source)

Pankaj MishraThe book does a tremendous job of giving you a sense of the many, many layers of history, of identities, that constitute this society. (Source)

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The Post-American World

"This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else." So begins Fareed Zakaria's important new work on the era we are now entering.

Following on the success of his best-selling The Future of Freedom, Zakaria describes with equal prescience a world in which the United States will no longer dominate the global economy, orchestrate geopolitics, or overwhelm cultures. He sees the "rise of the rest"—the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, and many others—as the great story of our time, and one that will reshape the world.

Barack ObamaFact or fiction, the president knows that reading keeps the mind sharp. He also delved into these non-fiction reads: Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Evan Osnos Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman Moral Man And Immoral Society, Reinhold Niebuhr A Kind And Just Parent, William Ayers The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria Lessons in Disaster, Gordon Goldstein Sapiens: A Brief History of... (Source)

Bill Gates[On Bill Gates's reading list in 2012.] (Source)

David MarquandZakaria is Indian by origin and he went to America in his youth. He is now a very prominent journalist in America. His thesis is that America, while still being a superpower, has got to contend with the rise of other countries. It can no longer call the shots in the new world that is developing. This is not a new thesis, but he puts it forward very powerfully and very well. He also looks at the... (Source)

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