William Rosen


Died
April 28, 2016


William Rosen was an historian and author who previously was an editor an publisher at Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and the Free Press for nearly twenty-five years. He lived in Princeton, New Jersey.

From recent obituary

William Rosen PRINCETON JUNCTION Author William Rosen, 61, whose works of narrative nonfiction include "Justinian's Flea" and "The Most Powerful Idea in the World: The Story of Steam, Industry and Invention," died at home on April 28, 2016, of gastrointestinal stromal cancer, according to his agent. Born in California, Rosen worked for nearly 25 years as an editor and publisher at Macmillan, Simon and Schuster and the Free Press before becoming an author. With a writing style that used anecdotes to pull together the threa
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Average rating: 3.78 · 3,627 ratings · 551 reviews · 10 distinct worksSimilar authors
Justinian’s Flea: Plague, E...

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The Most Powerful Idea in t...

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The Third Horseman: Climate...

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Miracle Cure: The Creation ...

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The Get a Job Workshop. Cre...

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Intermediate Algebra

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Traders World Digest Issue #16

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Street Smart: The Rise of C...

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More books by William Rosen…
“The proximate causes of the Flemish “peasant” revolt were local and immediate; its roots, the reason it could occur in the first place, were four centuries in creation. As Europe’s population increased threefold between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, the Continent’s demographic pyramid changed its shape. The base grew larger relative to its peak, and more distant: the gap between nobility and peasantry got bigger and bigger. Families that were noble by birth became more and more “noble” in behavior: dressing more opulently, entertaining more lavishly, and housing themselves more extravagantly, while the rural peasantry lived more or less the same as their many times great-grandparents.”
William Rosen, The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century

“And not merely slogan-shouting, but debate. The Chronicle of the courtier Theophanes faithfully records a debate—perhaps disputation is the better word—between Justinian (through his herald, or mandatus) and the chosen representative of the Green faction. The dialogue is startling on a number of grounds. First, the Green “debater” addresses the emperor, the viceroy of Christ on earth, practically as an equal. He addresses Justinian respectfully—as “Justinianus Augustus”—but registers his complaint precisely as if he were doing so before a small claims court, informing the most powerful man in the world that “my oppressor can be found in the shoemaker’s quarter.” For his part, Justinian, though clearly aware that he holds what might be called a preemptive advantage (“Verily, if you refuse to keep silent, I shall have you beheaded”), still debates both the truth of the Green claims and the theological position that he suggests informs those claims. Justinian tells his interlocutor, “I would have you baptized in the name of one God” only to receive the response, “I am baptized in One God,” evidently an attempt to contrast his Monophysite sympathies with the emperor’s orthodoxy. The Green spokesman accuses the emperor of suppressing the truth, of countenancing murder, and when he has had enough, he ends with “Goodbye Justice! You are no longer in fashion. I shall turn and become Jew; better to be a pagan than a Blue, God knows…”14 The most telling part of the entire dialogue, however, is that it was”
William Rosen, Justinian's Flea: The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire

“Incised in the stone over the Herbert C. Hoover Building’s north entrance is the legend that, with Lincoln’s characteristic brevity, sums up the single most powerful idea in the world: THE PATENT SYSTEM ADDED THE FUEL OF INTEREST TO THE FIRE OF GENIUS”
William Rosen, The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention