Ronald Florence is a novelist and historian, author of twelve books. Educated at Berkeley and Harvard, he taught at colleges and universities, ran a foundation, raced sailboats, and raised Cotswold sheep before turning to full-time writing. He lives in Providence, RI and travels in Europe and the Middle East to research his books.
Two ancient manuscripts change lives.
Emissary of the Doomed
Trying to save a million lives in the Holocaust.
Lawrence and Aaronsohn
Two men try to reshape the Middle East.
Heinous false accusation in Damascus.
The Perfect Machine
Building an extraordinary telescope.
The Gypsy Man
A pursuit of vengeance for Holocaust crimes.
Penguin Speakers Bureau
To book speaking engagements.
News of the world outside seemed unreal in Ornevka, as fantastic as Reuven Werth’s story of Baron Rothschild and the Mohilev rabbi. In the world outside, if you believed the tales, tsars and Kaisers and kings rattled swords, built battleships, and committed whole nations to war or peace as easily as a cattle merchant agreed to sell a heifer. Revolutionaries were ready to topple regimes, turn workers into bosses, and elevate the lowliest to the ranks of the mighty, all the while making love to women who weren’t their wives. In the lascivious stories of the drummers, actresses made love with kings, actors made love with other actors, and women revolutionaries would make love with anyone. The politics of the world outside—treaties, wars, revolutions—was a mad whirl, seemingly out of control. New inventions like electric lights, the telegraph, and steamships were coming so fast the world would be unrecognizable in a few years.
— from Family Werth
"No short summary of the travels and travails of the Werth family can do justice to the tense and suspenseful arc of narrative … I felt compelled to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next … succeeds in telling a compelling and important story."
— Rabbi Jim Rosenberg, The Jewish Voice
Available in paperback, Kindle,
iBook, and Nook editions.
... eminently readable history ... both an adventure yarn and a profound tragedy made up of hope, suspicion, fear, and confusion; all this against the background of the deportation trains leaving daily for Auschwitz.
—István Deák, The New Republic
Florence chronicles the birth of the modern Middle East by narrating the intersecting lives of two remarkable men.… skillfully blends geopolitical history and cloak-and-dagger tales ...
—The New Yorker
These days, when old, outdated anti-Semitic lies are being used in too many circles against the Jewish people, this book is important to all those who feel compelled to denounce them.
… a perfect job of science writing for the general public. Over to you, Pulitzer Prize Committee …
—Arthur C. Clarke
Florence's inventiveness sounds a magical voice that makes the pages of Jewish history breathe and sing.
— Jewish Voice & Herald
Only when you read two or three new books a week for five or six years do you realize how truly rare a novel like this is.…
—Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times