In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
Praise for The High Road
“…a new brand of political satire — the most irreverent, sophisticated and engaging CanLit has seen since Stephen Leacock.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“Fallis writes in pictures and even his bit-players are well-defined characters that the mind’s eye can see clearly. [The High Road] is an easy-reading page turner…anyone with even a passing or cynical interest in the political process should enjoy The High Road and after the romp be left with some food for thought.”
“The High Road will entertain. There will be snickers, occasional snorting and hooting, and almost certainly rip-roaring belly laughs. Terry Fallis has understood how things work on the Hill (fictionally, of course), or if that’s not really how things are done (dare we hope not), he is very convincing.”
“Fallis reaches effectively into his insider knowledge of the political scene in Ottawa to develop an engaging and amusing tale…the story has pace and appealing turns of plot…refreshingly original.”
McClelland & Stewart 2010
The High Road
A brilliant follow-up to the Stephen Leacock Award winner The Best Laid Plans, this deeply funny satire continues the story of Honest Angus McLintock, an amateur politician who dares to do the unthinkable: tell the truth.
Just when Daniel Addison thinks he can escape his job as a political aide, Angus McLintock, the no-hope candidate he helped into Parliament, throws icy water over his plans. Angus has just brought down the government with a deciding vote. Now the crusty Scot wants Daniel to manage his next campaign.
Soon Daniel is helping Angus fight an uphill battle against “Flamethrower” Fox, a Conservative notorious for his dirty tactics. Together they decide to take “The High Road” and — against all odds — turn the race into a nail-biter with hilarious ups and downs, cookie-throwing seniors, and even a Watergate-style break-in. But that’s only the beginning. Add a political storm in the capital and a side-splitting visit from the U.S. President and his alcoholic wife, and Terry Fallis’s second novel is a wildly entertaining read full of deft political satire and laugh-out-loud comedy.
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