Comprehensive education had no time for the Greek history previous generations were raised on. I read this book to fill this gap and it didn't disappoint. 400 pages takes you from the earliest Greek colonists of their homeland to decline under Rome. The bulk of the book covers Greek expansion in the ancient world, dramatic conflicts with Persia and the rivalry between Sparta and Athens before Alexander and his chaotic legacy provide the final Hellenic flourish.
Though we trace many of our aspirations back to Greece it is important, as the author reminds us, not to shape the Greeks in the image of ourselves. They possessed a hardness without chivalry in their relationships on all levels. Perhaps the lack of this Christian virtue inevitably hampered lasting success for anything bigger than the local city.
The text is fairly dense with occasional sentences overfilled with subclauses. Nonetheless the vast majority is well written given how much information is conveyed.