This book is meant to be a short introduction to the society of Rome during the late Republic for A-level and first year university students. As such I expected it to be a rather dry and academic work, considering I've never done a course on the Classics.
Instead I found this book to be lively, readable and interesting look at the social trends taking place within the Roman Republic from the days of Tiberius Gracchus to those of Octavian.
It covers subjects such as religion, political institutions, politics, the aristocracy and Roman imperialism in a few short chunks.
Mary Beard is an expert on this period, and she's a great writer to boot. Michael Crawford also lends his expertise to the title, presenting some rather complex ideas in a digestible and easy to understand manner.
Too bad they didn't include any photographs or illustrations, but I suppose they'd have to increase the price if they did so.
If you are a Classics or Ancient History student then this book is a must. Interested amateurs like myself will also find this book a useful guide to the period.