Who was Nostradamus? In this new biography, historian Stephane Gerson takes readers back in time to explore the life and afterlife of Michel de Nostredame, the astrologer whose Prophecies have been transformed into today's Gospel of Doom. Whenever we enter a new era, Nostradamus offers certainty and solace. In 1666, guests at posh English dinner parties discussed his quatrain about the Great Fire of London. In 1942, Irene Nemirovsky latched her hopes for survival to Nostradamus' prediction that the war would soon end. And on September 12, 2001, Brooklyn teenagers proclaimed that "this guy, Nostradamus" had seen 9/11 coming. Through prodigious research in European and American archives, Gerson chronicles the life of this mystifying figure and our lasting fascination with his predictions.