Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) is a figure of enormous importance in the history of Britain. Propelled to prominence amid the political and military turmoil of the 1640s, he became a dazzlingly successful soldier and politician, a man who possessed the power and influence to shape the course of revolution and reform. A natural military genius, he played a crucial role both in crushing royalism in England and Wales and in establishing English republican control over Ireland and Scotland. He rose to be head of the army and eventually head of state of a united Britain as Lord Protector. He was a statesman of considerable ability, running a strong and stable regime, which began the process of rebuilding the nation and healing the divisions of the civil war. Yet Cromwell was also a religious visionary, a man of God, who believed that the Lord had not only chosen him for some special mission but had also handed him the military success and political power to fulfil that divine mission. In consequence, Cromwell strove during his closing years to bring to fruition a broad programme of religious and moral reformation, to the end displaying a burning zeal to create a better and more Godly land, and thus always retained his radical edge. This illustrated biography provides a concise and accessible introduction to Oliver Cromwell's life and career. The text draws upon extensive and up-to-date research as well as contemporary speeches and letters, both personal and political, and gives an insight into the hopes and fears, goals and aspirations of this powerful and exceptional man.