Tales of Invasions and Empires: Our Place in Time (c. 1100 to 1300) by Kent Augustson

Technology has created a wide variety of ways to reach audiences all over the world. It takes is a little thinking outside the box and you can market a self-published book in creative, affordable and impactful ways. Consider book tours! Tours are a great way to connect with your readers and technology has made them easier and more cost effective than ever!

Author Kent Augustson is taking his latest book Tales of Invasions and Empires: Our Place in Time (c. 1100 to 1300), on tour — a Virtual Book Tour with Outskirts Press. This will allow Kent to take his book into the far corners of the globe, all from the comfort of his own home! Keep an eye out for Kent’s book as he will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead!


Luckily for us, Kent was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of Tales of Invasions and Empires: Our Place in Time (c. 1100 to 1300).

OP: Tell us a little bit about Tales of Invasions and Empires: Our Place in Time (c. 1100 to 1300). What is it about?

Kent: Tales of Invasions and Empires is the first volume in the Our Place in Time trilogy that makes world history understandable for the everyday reader. To many, the very idea of “the history of the world” seems daunting. And it can be. How can one even approach grasping the whole of it? We do this through five straightforward devices. First, we correct an erroneous spatial concept regarding the earth’s continents-in truth, there are six, not seven. Webster defines a continent as “a continuous tract or extent of land.” North America, South America, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia all fit the definition, but not what we call Europe and Asia. The huge continuous tract of land from Asia to Europe is plainly one huge continent-Eurasia. It is separated from Africa by the Isthmus of Suez not unlike North and South America are separated by the Isthmus of Panama. This distinction is important in conceptualizing world history because our four major civilizations today emerged in four far distant regions of this common homeland. Second, is identifying these major civilizations. As Samuel Huntington writes: “Human history is the history of civilizations. It is impossible to think of the development of humanity in any other terms.” Looking at our world today, we can point to four major civilizations that, with their spread, account for 85 percent of the world’s population: Confucian China, Hindu India, the Muslim Middle East, and the Christian West. To know 85% of anything is to know well its whole. Third, we recognize that all sentient life has three principal aspects: knowledge unto intelligence; love unto wisdom; and will unto power. Renowned German philosopher-historian, Karl Jaspers, postulated an Axial Age centered on the centuries surrounding 500 BC concerned with the second aspect-new concepts regarding morality, spirituality, and love. Its prophets spread across four distant corners of Eurasia were Zoroaster (628-551 BC) in the Middle East; Confucius (551-479 BC) in China; the Buddha (563-480 BC) in India; and, Socrates (470-399 BC) in the West. With interaction impossible, each of their messages were all grounded in some version of the Golden Rule- “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”-and a “way” that taken would lead to betterment and enlightenment. We argue that 2,500 years earlier, in the centuries around 3000 BC when civilizations first took form, was the Axial Age of the first aspect-knowledge unto intelligence. Moving 2,500 years forward from Jasper’s 500 BC to AD 2000, we assert that we are in the final Axial Age that must contend with power. Since power can only be managed by its diffusion, the millennia of empires and kingdoms of the few must give way to republics of the many. Thus, the historically sudden appearance of republics over the past couple of hundred years. In 1800 there was only one genuine republic in the world. Just a brief two hundred years later 85 percent of 153 United Nation members are now republics, or at least feel compelled to call themselves such. Fourth, the message of the prophets of Jasper’s Axial Age evolved into the religions of our four major civilizations: Confucian China, Hindu India, the Muslim Middle East, and the Christian West. With two exceptions, they did not meaningfully and continually interact until the 12th century with the Crusades and Islam’s invasion of Hindu India. Fifth, our historical rendering is not presented with endless names and dates but with colorful, memorable accounts of the people and scenes of their days as they progress through our schemata. Beginning in 1100, each book of the trilogy covers 300 years. Tales of Invasions and Empires has seventeen stories covering the years from 1100 to 1400. It begins with the telling of a courageous countess who sustained a saint and set Florence on the road to lead the Italian Renaissance. Dante honors her in the Divine Comedy; Michelangelo proudly claims descendancy from her in his genealogical chart (probably falsely). There are also accounts of: the near annihilation of Islam and the dreamer who saw the future; a battle lost that should have been won that sealed the fate of India for 700 years; a stunning royal lady who married two kings and dumped them both as the godmother of Europe that she was; an awful king and an august king who set their nations toward an historic collision; and, the humiliation of China and the ferocious peasant who brought back her glory better than ever. The book does not begin with an “Introduction” but with a piece entitled “Connections.” This is a theme that runs throughout, the attempting to make links to these rather distant days. Indeed, the last chapter is entitled “Connections Between the Years from 1100 and 1400 and Today’s World.” Its twenty-five pages emphasize twenty intriguing ties.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

Kent: Have a background in history with my time in UCLA’s PhD program in history that I left after receiving my Master’s to accept an executive intern position with the federal government way back in Washington DC. Was an exciting prospect in those days. During my eventful and quite successful thirty-year career, came across many highly intelligent people who had little sense of history. Also noted how, tragically, many, if not most, universities are not teaching even the basics. Having kept up with my studies, first published Our Axial Age as a remedy, but it was too stuffed with data and dates. So turned to the idea of trilogy that used tales to relate my vision of world history.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?

Kent: History is a funny thing; it’s hard to predict who has an affinity for it and who does not. Usually more seriously minded people, but you can’t always tell. The lively young lady who takes care of our cat when we are away, and my barber are two of my biggest fans. At a Super Party earlier this month, an army doctor friend who had moved away saw a copy of Tales of Invasions and Empires lying about and immediately ordered a copy online of both it and Our Axial Age. The copy was the host’s who is a full colonel, so maybe there’s something in that. There are organizations and magazines that feature history. Just need more exposure.

OP: What is special about your book?

Kent: I think this is answered about. Only thing personal is my bio. I do like to give women some emphasis where appropriate.

OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

Kent: First of all, my context for the progress of history is entirely original. How often have I heard how intriguing it is? It was a long-time professor friend who encouraged me to go forward with it, although he also said some academics might find fault as not being mainstream. It was my skill in summarizing and abstracting the complicated that served me well in my career-especially when we testified before Congress.

OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?

Kent: Our Axial Age was published with CreateSpace in 2016. Although associated with Amazon, don’t think they are publishing per se anymore. The second book in the trilogy-The Twenty-five Years that Changed the World-should be out this summer. It covers, in a unique fashion, the years 1400-1700. The key first two chapters of third book, probably to be called The Great Awakening or The Dawning of Our Axial Age or both, have been completed. Had to know exactly where I was going before taking the unorthodox approach that I have with the second book.

OP: How can someone learn more about your book or purchase it?

Kent: Books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Tales of Invasions and Empires is also available at https://outskirtspress.com/ourplaceintimethetrilogy. I also have a website at Outskirts as well as a special one of my own www.ThisBoldNewWorld.com

OP: Thanks for your time, Kent! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kent Augustson graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara and was accepted into the PhD program in history at UCLA. After earning his Masters, he accepted an executive internship position with the federal government for which he was competitively chosen. His thirty years in Washington, DC, featured presentations to the White House OMB and the US Congress. Traveling widely thereafter, Augustson returned to the studies of his youth with a broad perspective of the world gained in DC and abroad.

For more information or to contact the author, visit https://www.outskirtspress.com/ourplaceintimethetrilogy

This author purchased the Media Marketing Blitz marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road.” Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.

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