This was required reading for my upper-division history course. Our assignment was to extract the author's thesis and discuss how that thesis is supported. Though the title of Clive Holmes’ book may, initially, lead you to believe that the book is centered on the understanding of the execution of Charles I, this is hardly the case. Rather, the book is a disjointed, multi-focused work that lacks an overall argument. Additionally, the book spends much time in relating the intricacies of many situations, i.e. the divisions in the armies following the defeat of the Royalists, but fails to give even scant background to other items mentioned (see page fifty-five’s isolated mention of the Five Members). By merely mentioning a person/place/item, the reader is not able to glean the significance that the author obviously believes is apparent. Though the author covered many topics, if an over-arching thesis could not be reached, perhaps the work should have been narrowed and subsequently expanded within those related topics to show the importance of these events in this to show that in this sequence these episodes together created a wholly unique outcome in history. Although another weakness of the book was the drawing-out of topics, where the author’s argument must be mined out from the last quarter of the chapter, the main failure of this book is its inability to present a cohesive argument. Though informative, the book should be regarded as a collection of articles relevant to the English Civil War, rather than a book detailing the controversy of Charles I’s beheading.