The currents of History run deep and often unseen beneath the everyday ripple of events. But now and again the current rises to the surface, and the events of a single day shed an exceptional light on the meaning of the past. Such events are the subject of Days that Changed the World. Some of the 50 days described here mark the end of an era; others the start of something new. Many are the dates of bloody battles or murders; others of momentous decisions or breathtaking discoveries. All are remembered as powerful symbols of their time. Our story begins almost 2500 years ago on 28 September 480 before the Christian Era, when the Athenian navy destroyed the Persian invasion fleet in the Bay of Salamis. Had the Persians won we might never have heard the names of Plato, Aristotle or Alexander, nor recognize the word democracy. Charting 50 such defining moments, concluding with 11 September 2001 and the destruction of New York's Twin Towers, Days that Changed the World is a unique and fascinating way to portray the story of world history. These 50 history-making days include: The Battle of the Salamis; The Assassination of Julius Caesar; The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ; The Dedication of Constantinople; The Death of Muhammad; The Coronation of Charlemagne; The Death of Genghis Khan; The Fall of Constantinople; The Defeat of the Spanish Armada; The Defenestration of Prague; The Fall of the Bastille; The Battle of Waterloo; Parliament Passing the Emancipation Act; The Battle of Sedan; The Boxer Rebellion; The First Day of the Somme; The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbour; The Bombing of Hiroshima; Martin Luther King's 'I have a Dream'; The Breaching of the Berlin Wall; Nelson Mandela's Release from Prison; Nine Eleven.
Hywel Williams is a renowned historian, newspaper columnist, political advisor and TV presenter. He is the author of the famous political expose Guilty Men, Cassell's Chronology of World History, Britain's Power Elites and Emperor of the West.