The powerful rulers, leaders and generals who changed the world

Are you history mad or know someone who is? You may have just discovered a new favourite book. Read all about History’s People: Personalities and the Past here. 

For fifty years The Massey Lectures on political, cultural or philosophical topics have been presented by contemporary Canadian thinkers with unique perspectives and experiences.

The historian Margaret MacMillan is now a professor at Oxford University, and is the author of several bestsellers including the award winning Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World and The War That Ended Peace, and has just concluded her presentation of the 2015 Lectures.

These are presented in her newly released book History’s People - Personalities and the Past. It is an insightful and provocative exploration of the lives and influences of memorable people who changed the course of history and brings the characters, and the events around them. Vibrantly alive and a fascinating read.
Order your copy here at a discounted price.

Book Cover Historys People

Serious literates will love this book
It is superbly written and her language is a delight. Yet make not mistake this is a very serious study. She paints pictures of the people and their places in history which are compellingly accurate, but are also colourful and entertaining.

She invites you into her warm Living Room to meet friends and strangers who have profound and sometimes obsessive beliefs and whether or not you agree with them you find yourself absorbed into their lives.

Histories major players revealed
Her investigative analysis of the political powers and personalities of the 20th Century, Bismarck, Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin and Thatcher with walk on parts by others like Nixon and Mao seem to reveal aspects of their character and behaviour which have been previously well hidden and so often poses the question what would our world be like if they hadn’t lived in it and dominated it?

From Elizabeth 1 of England to Catherine the Great
Then she springs into a new place and time and you are redefining the roles of Elizabeth 1 of England and Catherine the Great of Russia before being plunged into the lives of predominately private women who created new pathways through the remote parts of The Balkans, Canada and India.

Many of her pictures are drawn from private diaries. Those of Victor Klemperer, a Jew with an Aryan wife, who lived through the Nazi reign give one of the most devastating accounts of the evil and terror of those times.

Ian’s final verdict: I know many people who would be as enthralled as I have been sharing this new perspective on past times. Margaret MacMillan has brought a breath of fresh air to foggy dark skies. Serious history buffs will love it. Highly recommended!

Read all about History’s People: Personalities and the Past by Margaret MacMillan (Text, $32.99) here. 


Which historic figure would you invite for dinner? Watch MacMillan share who she would take.

What are your favourite authors and books to read? Join the conversation.