In these secular times, confessing to a belief in the apocalypse consigns a person to Christian fundamentalism or to cult status. But for centuries the Judaeo-Christian version of apocalypse - its Revelations-driven belief in the destruction of evil and the Second Coming of Christ - was accepted as the literal truth and ultimate destination of human existence.
The distinguished historian Eugen Weber redresses the historical and religious amnesia that has consigned the study of apocalyptic and millennial thought to the lunatic fringe. Elegantly written, as witty and entertaining as its profound, this is more a travel book of the apocalypse than a definitive academic treatment. And at its heart is a profound respect for the resilience of alternative rationalities, and for the luxuriant current growth of millenarianism in Africa, Asia and South America.
Eugen Weber served in the British Army during the Second World War and was educated at Cambridge and at the Paris Institut de sciences politiques. Until his retirement he held the Joan Palevsky Chair of Modern European History at UCLA. Author of a dozen books, Weber also wrote and narrated a fifty-two part PBS series, The Western Tradition. He died in 2007, aged 82.