Brothers Chris and Ted Stewart love history but insist they aren't historians.
"You might say we are interpreters of history," Ted said.
In their new book, "The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World," the co-authors interpret how a series of critical events in world history served as steppingstones toward providing the blessing of freedom many know today.
"This is a book that explains where freedom came from," Chris said. "Seeing this grand sweep of world history gives you a sense of purpose to things. I think that makes us more hopeful."
The Stewarts point out in the introduction of the book that of an estimated 110 billion or so who have walked the Earth, only a very small percentage, around 4.5 percent, have experienced freedom like we know it today.
"These are generous estimates," the Stewarts write. "The actual numbers might be much lower than this."
Their hypothesis is further evidenced by the fact that presently only 22 nations that exist today have had freedom for more than 50 years.
Consequently, freedom is rare and precious because many have died to preserve it and fragile because it could be easily lost. These points are vividly illustrated through seven well-researched examples. In reading about the seven turning points, readers can begin to answer the question, "Where did freedom come from?"
The seven stories include:
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 Poitiers
5. The failure of the Mongols in their effort to conquer Europe
6. The discovery of the New World
7. The Battle of Britain in World War II
Each historic event is well-documented by reliable and respected sources.
So far, readers love the book. Thanks to an endorsement by national media personality Glenn Beck, "The Miracle of Freedom" has been as high as to No. 2 on Amazon's best-selling list and reached No. 11 on the New York Times' Top 25 best-selling nonfiction and e-book lists.
The Stewarts, co-authors of "Seven Miracles That Saved America," spent two years researching and writing "The Miracle of Freedom." Their biggest challenge was finding time for the project among family commitments, day jobs and other priorities.
Chris is the president and CEO of The Shipley Group, a nationally recognized consulting and training company. He is also a best-selling author and former Air Force pilot. He holds a world record for the fastest nonstop flight around the world.
Ted was appointed as a United States district court judge by President Bill Clinton in 1999. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt and has held other prominent government positions.
Although Ted and Chris are two of six brothers and Ted is 12 years older than Chris, the duo has become close while living near one another for the past eight years in Davis County.
Both agree they could not have done the project alone. The research, writing and editing were split equally between the two brothers.
Both men value freedom deeply. They hope the book will inspire others to appreciate freedom and fight to maintain it for generations to come.
"If they (the readers) accept our premise, that freedom, as history has proven, is precious enough that many have sacrificed for it, that it is fragile and that few have enjoyed it, then I hope they would be motivated to work harder to protect it, preserve it and ensure it for their posterity," Ted said.
"These are stories that need to be told. … These things happened for a reason," Chris said. "In that sense it becomes a book of hope."
"The Miracle of Freedom" is on sale now from Shadow Mountain. It can be found online and in select bookstores nationwide.
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