Walls

A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: History, Ancient
4.5 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Walls historian David Frye tells the epic story of history’s greatest man-made barriers, from ancient times to the present. It is a haunting and frequently eye-opening saga - one that reveals a startling link between what we build and how we live. 

With Frye as our raconteur-guide, we journey back to a time before barriers of brick and stone even existed - to an era in which nomadic tribes vied for scarce resources, and each man was bred to a life of struggle. Ultimately, those same men would create edifices of mud, brick, and stone and with them effectively divide humanity: On one side were those the walls protected; on the other, those the walls kept out.

The stars of this narrative are the walls themselves - rising up in places as ancient and exotic as Mesopotamia, Babylon, Greece, China, Rome, Mongolia, Afghanistan, the lower Mississippi, and even Central America. As we journey across time and place, we discover a hidden, thousand-mile-long wall in Asia’s steppes; learn of bizarre Spartan rituals; watch Mongol chieftains lead their miles-long hordes; witness the epic siege of Constantinople; chill at the fate of French explorers; marvel at the folly of the Maginot Line; tense at the gathering crisis in Cold War Berlin; gape at Hollywood’s gated royalty; and contemplate the wall mania of our own era.

A masterpiece of historical recovery and preeminent storytelling, Walls is alternately evocative, amusing, chilling, and deeply insightful as it gradually reveals the startling ways that barriers have affected our psyches. The questions this book summons are both intriguing and profound: Did walls make civilization possible? And can we live without them? 

©2018 David Frye (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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A Face-First Dive into the Importance of Walls

An excuisite examination of a simple structure standing strong as a text written of, by, and for the ages.
David Frye wields military, social, and environmental history like brick, mortar, and some as he constructs a comprehensive overview of walls' role as defender, civilizer, and pacifier. His argument is that Walls put a literal barrier between two peoples, those who cilvilized within their high enclosures, and those who remained outside.
This work breaches the barrier between various fields of study and invites it's readers to charge through the gap.

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Grit and Wit

Very interesting and engaging book, full of grit and wit. I enjoyed the blending and integration of histories and stories from around the world and across time, always coming back to the grand theme of walls as symptom and cause.
This would make a great documentary series!

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very interesting historical perspective

very interesting book. moved along and stayed alive, despite the broad expanse of information. really enjoyed it.

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Must-read book for Trump border wall supporters

A sweeping, beautifully written history of the world through the narrative frame of walls. You will learn that 5,000 years of wallers weren't wrong; barbarians do swarm, maim, and wantonly kill...outside the walls (and they're part of history, too, and might be reformed, e.g. the Highland Scots).