36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An insightful and engaging tour of a world with striking parallels to our own, 30 April 2013
Emmerson's book is a lesson in the fact that if history does not necessarily repeat itself, it certainly echoes through time. City-hopping through the key intellectual, commercial, and political centres of the age, Emmerson takes the reader on a world tour that at once illustrates, with well-researched detail, what daily life might have felt like, while also drawing comparisons between cities that serve to illustrate Emmerson's broader themes of a world on the brink of seismic shifts that have eerie parallels with the challenges we face today. That he manages to pack this tour d'horizon into just over 500 pages, that flows seamlessly on its global journey and is absorbing from start to finish, is a tribute to Emmerson's writing skill and absolute mastery of his subject. Highly recommended.