Old Tree Books

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What explains the extraordinary continuity of ancient Egypt despite its many changes in rulers?

How was democracy born in classical Athens?

What does “Our Greco-Roman heritage” actually mean?

How was slavery in the ancient world radically different from slavery in the American South?

What role did Venice play in the birth of modern Europe?

This collection of essays answers these intriguing questions and more.



“This is it, the one book I would urge on academic historians, history buffs, and even those who think they have no interest in history. Dr. Bessmer has written a work that opens one’s eyes to what history could be but almost never is: the fascinating, mysterious, thrilling story of humanity. I will read this book again and again.”
Leslie J. Friedman, Ph.D., Professor, The Fromm Institute, University of San Francisco

“Sue Bessmer’s commanding knowledge of history provides a trustworthy guide through our foundational past. Writing with verve and humor, she makes that past come alive.”

Ruth Hoppin, Poet and Author of Priscilla’s Letter: Finding the Author of the Epistles to the Hebrews