What will make autocratic power thrive, and what will make it fall? In Kings. A world history Erik Petersson takes us on a journey through the history of absolute rule. The quest spins a thread of legitimacy, revival and violence from earliest history to the underpinnings of modern society.
Erik Petersson (b. 1985) is an historian of the new generation and a cherished author in the Nordic countries. His previous books concern the fight for power in Northern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. He is a writer in several newspapers, an appreciated voice on national radio and a researcher concerned with the formation of early modern society. The book Kings. A world history is his eighth and most urgent title so far.
19 year old Pavel Pestel had a problem. He and his comrades were inspired by the constitution of the free, new world. Should he trust the developments he had seen when fighting the tsar’s war in Europe? Or should he bow down and remain silent? A hundred years later, Nikolai II might have thought that the question was settled. What remained for Nikolai was to pass on his title, and until that happened – care for his beloved daughters and son.
A few years later, monarchy was wiped out as a meaningful force from history, and the monarchs took more than 30 million people’s lives with them, as the Empires of Europe fell.
What forces intertwined themselves through time, leading up to the world of only a hundred years ago? Kings. A world history is a journey backwards, across Europe, Africa, China, India, the United States and the Middle East, in search of the foundations for the power of autocratic rulers. What made one emperor fall while another stood? And what nourished the roots of the world order we take for granted today?
This is a story of betrayal and ruthlessness, psychology, power games and cover ups, but also bravery, impossible sacrifices, hope and brilliant renewal. Petersson asks eternal questions that stretch more than 5000 years back, and go straight back into the fabric of the modern world, and to the heart of the human experience itself.
Press voices about Petersson’s last title.
“This is the best I’ve read when it comes to historical literature.” – JAKOB CARLANDER, CORREN
“A read for a summer without Game of Thrones” – UGEBLADET SKANDERBORG
“Versatile, vibrant and entertaining” EKSTRA BLADET
“… both entertained and enlightened… We are as far from traditional history writing as we can get.” – JOACHIM LUND, INFORMATION.DK
“Popular history of the highest degree ” – DAST
“Exciting as an adventure novel […] Petersson highlights both social life, power relations and economics, during this time, so it’s not just exciting but also an in-depth and vibrant history lesson.” -DALADEMOKRATEN
“Exciting […] Read it instead of crime thrillers and airport literature.” ANDERS ELLEGAARD, HISTORIE-ONLINE.DK
“[…] fascinating parentheses about subjects rarely dealt with in our historical works” – DICK HARRISON, SVENSKA DAGBLADET
“An unusually multifaceted image” -JÖNKÖPINGSPOSTEN
“[…] stands out, in the most positive way, from the flood of popular-history books. […] Petersson is not only a highly skilled historian, you can also tell that he is a talented storyteller in the popular-history and fact-filled text that he has so cleverly crafted.” – TIDNINGEN KULTUREN
“A majestic book.” – DAGENS NYHETER