Fools, Martyrs, Traitors

Trade Paper – $29.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1724-2
Publication Date
October 1999
Page Count
429 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Fools, Martyrs, Traitors

The Story of Martyrdom in the Western World
Lacey Baldwin Smith

Lacey Baldwin Smith takes us on a riveting journey through history as he examines one of the most baffling characteristics of the human experience: the willingness to die to sanctify a deity, defend a cause, or simply to prove a point. By delving into the psyches, politics, and personalities of martyrs like Thomas Becket, John Brown, and Gandhi, he illuminates the complex and elusive subject of martyrdom as it has evolved over 2,500 years.
About the Author

Lacey Baldwin Smith was born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1922. Following graduate work at Princeton University, he went on to teach there and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northwestern University, where until his retirement he was Professor of History and Peter B. Ritzma Professor in the Humanities. He continues to teach at Northwestern in an emeritus capacity. Smith is the recipient of two Fulbright awards, two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other awards, honors, and academic appointments, including membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the father of three grown children and lives with his wife in Wilmette, Illinois
"Anyone who would like to try to understand what justifies human beings in the possibly suicidal impulse that drives them to accept no compromise; to assert high moral principle in the face of accusations of idiocy, barbarism, ingratitude and mere treason; and finally to die for a cause can begin at no better place than Fools, Martyrs, Traitors."
--Washington Post

"Human, dramatic stories, well told, with sympathetic insights."

Kirkus Reviews