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The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,687 ratings  ·  343 reviews
To what do we owe the great privilege of freedom?

• To a handful of Greek soldiers and their naval commanders in a life-or-death confrontation with the Persians in 480 bc?
• To a small band of Frankish soldiers who stood against the conquering armies of Islam more than 1,300 years ago?
• To the people of Great Britain who refused to surrender to the overwhelming power of Hi
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 3rd 2011 by Shadow Mountain (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot of history of things I want to look more into. Here are the 7 tipping points:

1) Defeat of the Assyrians in their quest to destroy Jerusalem (w/o Jews, there would be no birthplace for Christianity--crucial in developing human rights, equality, etc)
2) Greeks holding off the Persians at Thermopylae and Salamis (every single one of Leonidas' men, including himself, died in these battles. But it was a rallying cry for the rest of Greece, preventing them eventually being assimilated i
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Hmm. Almost as disappointing as the book on America previously published by the Stewarts. Again, I disliked the made-up "vignettes" that are supposed to make the story easier to read. Silly device. Either you can write interesting history or you can write fiction, no need to mix the two. And then there are again the overheated "Oh, if THIS hadn't happened JUST LIKE THIS, then EVERYTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN RUINED FOREVER!" I happen to think God, and His created children, are both a little more creat ...more
Darin Stewart
Apr 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
If you enjoyed Skousen's "The 5,000 Year Leap" you will love this book. If you have any critical thinking skills at all, you will hate it.
Frank Hintz
Aug 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
On the plus side, this book can be read quickly, the little fictional vignettes about each event are somewhat entertaining, and the book touches on some good points. That said, as a work of history, this book has a whole lot of flaws. The authors are looking at seven different events, each separated by hundreds of years. There really is very little reason for these to be presented as one narrative, other than the vague, suspect notion that all of history itself can be viewed together. The author ...more
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book taught me how much I DON'T know about history! And I learned little bits by reading it. I actually found the conditions in the world for all of recorded history to be really depressing and I will be eternally grateful to be born in the United States, a country of freedom and liberty. There has basically been no freedom for individuals until that last few hundred years and only in relatively small areas of the world.

Two of my favorite passages:

"...our Founding Fathers clearly u
Jack Huang
Aug 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
In picking up this book, I had guessed that "The Miracle of Freedom" was simply a bit of eye-catching rhetorical hyperbole designed to add a bit of flair to a sober analysis of historical turning points, nothing more. It became swiftly apparent that, no, the authors mean that in a literal divine-triumph-of-the-Christian-God-above-all-else manner.

It seems that the authors have semi-skillfully crafted a narrow view of history which tells a grand, fantastical tale largely about the triumph of good
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Interesting book built on an interesting concept. If you are one of the many who read Connections several years ago you may remember the approach. It was to go back and look at an early discovery or development and then show how forward through time different discoveries and developments came together and brought about a modern development that seemingly would have no "connection" to the earlier discovery. Here a version of this approach is applied to history.

The discussion in the book has to do
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
My mom loved this book and the first one about America. I could tell this book was written by men because 6 out of the 7 things focused on military battles. The other one was about the discovery and conquest of the New World, which has violence in it as well. But then the conquerors were Western Christians and not Eastern Muslims, so that made it all right.

I just wondered what a woman writer would choose about propagating the idea of freedom and Christianity--the Gutenberg press, the idea of edu
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
While it's not a terrible book, The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World reads like a freshman-year paper. Chris Stewart does a good job sourcing his material, but it seems more like he's using his sources as a convenient way to prop up a narrative that suits current political convictions rather than the true story.

The narrative of this book goes like this: there were several events in Western history in which the Middle Eastern imperialism threatened Western-borne perso
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone whether they or free or seeking freedom!
Recommended to Lisa by: someone at book club
Shelves: nonfiction
Chris and Ted Stewart have looked over world events and chosen 7 that they believe were essential in leading to freedom...for some.

Many of the G.R. reviewers dispute the importance of the 7 events chosen by the Stewarts; they found the events too war centered. I wonder if they read the entire book; in particular, the conclusion.

The conclusion ties the events to freedom by focusing on these questions:
-Where did freedom come from? Included is this quote from Thomas Sowell, "Slavery is one of the o
Interesting, and thought provoking! A great reminder of the precious gift of freedom that we have in our country.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I would have never read this book, but it was the selection for one of my book clubs this month. As I was reminded at our club discussion, I am not the intended audience for this work (I have a masters degree in medieval history and continue to read voraciously). It's supposed to be an introduction to some crucial moments in our past where the fate of freedom stood in the balance. I like that concept, and I'm all for getting more people interested in history, but Stewart and Stewart's execution ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am still reading this book and am fascinated! Everyone should read this. These authors give you much to think about. "...fewer than five billion of the earth's total inhabitants have ever lived under conditions that we could consider free. This would be something like 4.5 percent of people who have ever lived. And these are generous estimates...freedom is a relatively unstable marvel."
"Mankind's a tragic history where humdreds of millions of unfortunate souls have been slaughtered,
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It’s easy for us to forget in modern times that prior to the American Revolution, “self-determination” was a concept that few ordinary people had ever had, and through the eyes of a few fictional accounts from history, we see how pawns are treated poorly by the powerful, but change and improvement – though excruciatingly gradual for those on the blunt end of history’s hammer – gradually came through these 7 tipping points.
Kim  Dennis
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
meh. I didn't like the story parts. I would have much preferred to have just the facts. I felt like some of the things written were contradictory to each other. I wasn't sure I agreed with all of Stewart's conclusions. I really hated the chapter on how the New World saved the Old. I loved the chapter on the Battle of Britain. I also really liked the including chapter...There are some things in it that may help with an essay I will be writing soon. (Almost made me want to add a star.) Some of the ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of liberty and freedom (and those who should be!)
Recommended to Karen by: It was a gift from my husband
Shelves: education
"In order for freedom and democracy to survive, injustice must be defeated. It will not simply disappear. It must be cast aside." p.282

This is the premise of the book.

"We are living a life that the vast majority of the earth's historical inhabitants could not have imagined, a life they never could have hoped to enjoy." p. 282

This is the miracle.

The more I read, the more I am struck by how hopelessly uneducated I am when it comes to world history. I was familiar with only 2 of the 7 events disc
Brandon Johnson
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting read. I feel like I learned a lot about several historical cultures and religions. I like how the authors organized and presented the content, and I enjoyed reading this book.
Kathryn Bashaar
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It does take for granted that our western values of freedom, equality, reason & rule of law, are the right ones, and that Christianity played a large part in the development of those values. I myself happen to agree with both of those premises, but not everybody does. The book describes seven critical turning points where the culture with the better values won out against a more brutal, repressive culture, against very long odds. In some cases the "better" culture was only s ...more
Jan 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book as a gift from a relative, and I found it to be deeply disturbing. For starters, it's full of inaccuracies and distortions of every kind. Perhaps the most heinous example is that one of the so-called tipping points, a supposed boon to freedom, is the discovery of America. Why? Because of the huge infusion of gold and silver to European monarchies, which allowed them to fund various military efforts against the Ottoman empire (or in other words, Muslims). There's NOT A SINGLE WORD ...more
The authors of this book picked 7 historical events that they felt had a huge impact on the development of freedom, democracy and the extrodinary world of indiviual rights that we live in today in the western world.The 7 "tipping points" are: 1) The defeat of the Assyrians in their quest to destroy the kingdom of Judah; 2) The victory of the Greeks over the Persians at Thermopylae and Salamis; 3) Roman Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity; 4) the defeat of the armies of Islam at Poit ...more
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The authors make a strong case that less than 5% of all people who have ever lived have lived under conditions that we would term "free". They then talk about 7 events in history that were forks in the road toward freedom, where, if the outcome had been different the freedom we now experience may never have come into being. Very interesting. Sections of fictional reenactment before and after the historical facts bring the events to life and make this a quick and fascinating read that covers 3000 ...more
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Same style and feel to this book as their other book "Seven Miracles that Saved America". The beginning of the book talks of democracy and freedom having been enjoyed by a tiny portion of those who have ever lived on earth...and we are that tiny portion. It is truly amazing to see this as I read of the seven events that had a great affect in bringing forth the miracle of freedom. I have always felt proud to be an American and very grateful for the freedoms that I have enjoyed, but after reading ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was great - I really enjoyed it. It left me with a deep sense of gratitude for the freedoms I enjoy, and for our Constitution, and for people throughout history who recognized the need for things like freedom and democracy and were willing to fight for it. It left me feeling even more awe for the fact that principles of freedom were with our nation from the beginning. What a blessing! (Nice to listen to on CD, too.)
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think this book should have a sub caption that reads "History for Dummies" I love the fact that Chris and Ted Stewart can take historical facts and write them in such a way that is both enthralling and uncomplicated for "non- historical majors" like me to understand.

What an eye opener this book was! I started the book so naive in my understanding of freedom, but finished it enlightened.
Kim Godard
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even in our worst circumstance, Americans are the most blessed people to have ever lived on earth. And it's interesting the seven tipping points the authors chose. These historical events are familiar, and yet, until I read the book, I did not see them as critical, pivotal points affecting the quality of my life. But they were.
Rita Graham
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author chose 7 events that he considered tipping points which allowed the West to develop cultures in which freedom became possible. Unlike other historical narratives Stewart gave the characters voices which brought their stories alive. While much was undoubtedly left out there was enough of a connecting thread to create a believable thesis.
Claudia Joy
Jun 25, 2011 is currently reading it
So far it is very engaging and a must read! The storytelling it alive and moving with constant severity. Wish it covered the Revolutionary war period but that is okay it is still a great read so far. It seems we have gotten too far from 1776 we need to get back to that place it defines us.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it
A very interesting look at world history.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Certainly a good read of key "tipping points" in history. Found myself learning something new in every chapter which kept me interested. While wrapped in religion at many points, it's hard to argue with most of the author's thoughts. While an atheist may counter some of the points, I'd argue that the author has rather in depth research due to the numerous notes/references at the end of every chapter. Compared to some other "history" books, this one offers a long list of sources noted throughout ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history, 2020
I’m glad to be finished with this one. It’s my third of Chris Stewart, and you might assume that means I enjoy his reading. Nope. The last two I read because they were different genres from the first, but mostly because they were recommended to me by people I’m close with. Give it a fair shot and all, right?

The battles they chose to highlight were certainly turning points, and while I didn’t enjoy the reading, it was at least semi-interesting to read one perspective on why the world is where it
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Chris Stewart is a bestselling author and world-record-setting Air Force pilot whose previous military techno-thrillers have been selected by the Book of the Month Club and published in six different countries. He is the author of the highly acclaimed series The Great and Terrible, as well as A Christmas Bell for Anya, which was performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during their 2005 Christma ...more

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