As many of you know, I made an appearance on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross a couple of weeks ago.  I had mentioned in an earlier post that the only way it is humanly possible for a book to become a bestseller is by having some media attention paid to it – a herculean task, especially these days, over the past two years, when the national media wants to talk about nothing but That One Thing.

Fresh Air has millions of listeners, though, and I was very fortunate to be on it.  The results were fantastic, as I’ve indicated before.  And a new indication has just appeared.   Triumph of Christianity  has made it on the New York Times Bestseller this week, coming in at #11 on the list of Hardback Non-Fiction.

That’s a big deal for me.   There are something like 600 books that get published every day.  To  be on this list is special.  I don’t expect the book to stay on for more than a week, but still, it is a milestone.

There is some other coverage I’m getting as well.   I will be on Sam Harris’s podcast (we do it next week).  And there are other venues, including a short piece that I wrote for the History channel, that has gone out on   Here is the intro to the piece and the link if you want to see the rest of the essay.


History Reads is a weekly series featuring work from Team History, a group of experts and influencers, exploring history’s most fascinating questions.

The triumph of Christianity over the pagan religions of ancient Rome led to the greatest historical transformation the West has ever seen: a transformation that was not only religious, but also social, political and cultural. Just in terms of “high culture,” Western art, music, literature and philosophy would have been incalculably different had the masses continued to worship the gods of the Roman pantheon instead of the one God of Jesus—if paganism, rather than Christianity, had inspired their imaginations and guided their thoughts. The Middle Ages, the Renaissance and modernity as we know them would also have been unimaginably different.

But how did it happen? According to our earliest records, the first “Christians” to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus were 11 male disciples and a handful of women—say 20 people altogether. These were lower-class, uneducated day laborers from a remote corner of the Roman Empire. And yet, within three centuries, the Christian church could count some 3 million adherents. By the end of the 4th century, it was the official religion of Rome, numbering 30 million followers—or half the Empire.

A century after that, there were very few pagans left.

Christians today might claim that their faith triumphed over the other Roman religions because it was (and is) true, right and good. That may be so. But …