Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting analysis of Greek world view
It's half a century old and written by someone my copy describes as a 'late Victorian', but HDF Kitto's 'The Greeks' is an engagingly thought-provoking and insightful history of classical Greek civilisation. Kitto writes in a style that is much more enjoyable and entertaining than many of his contemporaries, presenting a host of theories on the Greek state of mind and...
Published on 27 Aug 2005

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vintage stuff
I have a vintage copy of this which gives the game away; its price, three and six. Yes, folks, that's 17.5p in the 'New Money' and this book does indeed date from 1951. The author, educated in a pre-War world where a knowledge of the classics was taken for granted, makes none of the concessions a modern audience would expect. Kitto loves the Greeks with an undisguised...
Published 21 months ago by Peasant


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting analysis of Greek world view, 27 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Greeks (Penguin History) (Perfect Paperback)
It's half a century old and written by someone my copy describes as a 'late Victorian', but HDF Kitto's 'The Greeks' is an engagingly thought-provoking and insightful history of classical Greek civilisation. Kitto writes in a style that is much more enjoyable and entertaining than many of his contemporaries, presenting a host of theories on the Greek state of mind and world view that go a long way to explaining Greek society and actions. Particularly informative is the author's exploration of the 'polis' concept, explaining comprehensively the city-state system and analysing its part in the eventual downfall of Greek civilisation (how far the essentially fragmentary nature of the polis system prevented the Greek culture from expanding or defending itself from more centrally organised, ruthless adversaries like the Roman empire). This is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting introduction to Ancient Greece, and Greeks :), 30 July 2004
This review is from: The Greeks (Penguin History) (Perfect Paperback)
The author of "The Greeks", a well-known professor who devoted a great part of his life to the study of Ancient Greece, wrote this book with an aim: help others to understand better the subject that he taught. In my opinion, H. D. F. Kitto fulfilled his self-imposed task marvelously.
Kitto doesn't pretend to write an exhaustive history of Ancient Greece, but rather an introductory book that touches upon many subjects without delving too much into any of them. As a result, after reading this book you will end up with a general idea of the culture, art, literature and historical facts regarding Ancient Greece, but you won't be able to say you know all about it. On the other hand, you will know much more about the Greeks, and the values that shaped them and motivated their actions. That is probably more than enough to recommend this book :)
I want to point out that even though the author doesn't oversimplify the subject at hand to the point of distorting it, he highlights so much certain central ideas that even those who read the book without paying it due attention will understand them. For instance, Kitto emphasizes the great divide that existed for the Greeks between themselves and the others, the barbarians. According to the Greeks, that divide was undeniable because only they had mastered the way of being truly "free". That certitude, and their consequent feeling of exceptionalism, marked all their actions.
Kitto says, in the introduction, that he strove to allow the Greeks to speak for themselves, and the reader gets exactly that impression from time to time. I don't know much about Ancient Greece, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I guess that is a good indication that even those who just want to dabble in the subject are likely to enjoy it...
I believe that "The Greeks" is a very well-written book, something that combined with the fact that it isn't overly long makes it the kind of reading material that almost everybody might be interested in. All in all, I highly recommend this book to you :)
Belen Alcat
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Concision in a Masterpiece, 28 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Greeks (Penguin History) (Perfect Paperback)
I found Kitto's classic book in small book shop in Athens a few years ago, when I was travelling in vacations. I just wanted a companion book to spend the week and was not expecting much from it, rather than a superficial introduction. It was the most radical surprise I ever had with a book. Kitto has managed to create in this tiny book a very unique and original representation of the soul and essence of the Ancient Greek society (the accurate one in my opinion), with a power of concision that can only come from someone that has completely and utterly mastered the subject - Kitto transmits many ideas with very few words. Yet, he shares his passion with us with generosity, enthusiasm and a lively, wonderful humour that makes you feel you are not reading, but *hearing* him, even thought the book was written 50 years ago.

I went to my vacations alone and felt I had spent it with a marvelous companion, enjoying an intellectual journey that inspired me to go on into Greek Classical studies. From all the countless books I've read on Greece, Kitto's achievement in combining content and style seems to me, unparallel. If you love history, Greek history or even better, don't like it at all, simply give yourself the opportunity to enjoy this master piece. I doubt you will be able to hold back a few smiles.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only all History books were this good, 10 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Greeks (Penguin History) (Perfect Paperback)
If you are looking for an introduction to ancient Greek history then this is one of the best books to start with. Kitto has an enormous breadth of knowledge which he communicates clearly and avoids the dry, stuffy prose that you may remember from history books at school. It covers the period of Greek history up to but not including the rise of Alexander, and explores most aspects of their society & culture. As well as being informative, it is also a highly entertaining read, which even had me laughing out loud at times. Kitto's enthusiasm is highly infectious and his excellent book has certainly inspired me to look into Greek history in greater depth.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vintage stuff, 11 Mar 2013
By 
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Greeks (Penguin History) (Perfect Paperback)
I have a vintage copy of this which gives the game away; its price, three and six. Yes, folks, that's 17.5p in the 'New Money' and this book does indeed date from 1951. The author, educated in a pre-War world where a knowledge of the classics was taken for granted, makes none of the concessions a modern audience would expect. Kitto loves the Greeks with an undisguised passion and writes about them as if this was recent history.

Now don't get me wrong; this is an excellent piece of serious historical writing, and those who have given it 5 stars fo so for very sound reasons. If you want to know the intimate detail of every political development, its economic, social and philosophical background and artistic context from the earliest times we have record of till the decline of Greece at the time of the rise of Rome, then this book will hit the button. And it is written with a certain flair; no wonder Kitto was a best-seller in his day, when books were generally drier and the demand for illustrations far less. I calls to mind the style of A J P Taylor and Kitto does succeed in making this demanding, and at times confusing, subject matter astonishingly readable.

If you are happy with a self-consciously 'literary' style; with long pages of dense text studded with proper names; with an assumption that you are reasonably familiar with Greek literature, drama and art, have a passing acquaintance with Greek philosophers and an atlas at your elbow to help with the geography, than this is a good read. Even without too much of a classical background, I was able to get to grips with most of it and only occasionally found myself losing the plot.

However, if you like the Brittany Hughes style of presentation, with plenty of 'colour', few difficult words and events depicted in broad sweeping strokes, look elsewhere. The other issue is the unacceptable level of typos in this Kindle edition; something which is inexplicable and quite unforgivable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of Greek history and culture!, 23 April 2007
By 
This review is from: The Greeks (Penguin History) (Perfect Paperback)
Kitto has done a nice job with this book. It is an extremely well researched overview of ancient Greek history and culture. Quite scholarly, and written in an interesting way, he leads the reader through his research and thinking, not always giving definitive answers to cultural questions. In the end the reader comes to fairly confident assumptions of what the Greek world was, and is, like. His first chapters are quite good: Introduction, Formation of the Greek People, The Country, Homer, The Polis. The later chapters are less engaging, but overall a good scholarly read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greek History, 9 Oct 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Greeks (Hardcover)
The author is (was ?), a gifted and dedicated academic. I believe this was first published in the early 1950s and the style is very different from an equivalent book that would be published today. If you want quick facts to dip into, this is not the book for you but if you want to understand the whole context of Greek civilisation, it is a brilliant and illuminating read. Not one I suspect for the Twitter generation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable jaunt, 16 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Greeks (Penguin History) (Perfect Paperback)
If like myself you watched a movie that made you want to learn more about the lifestyles and cultures of the Ancient Greeks, Kitto's book is just the primer you need.' Weighing in at 252 pages, this is a concise overview of everything you need to know about the Greeks up to, but not including Alexander. (The author felt Alexander deserved more than a couple of scribbled passages at the end of the book, which is what most other books do apparently).

This was an enjoyably light read, without being a lightweight on the information. The dull, dreary boring minutiae was left in favour of a style that can be enjoyed by the novice to the classics, of which I still classify myself. Certainly something that has inspired my interests in the Greeks enough to want to learn more.

I particularly enjoyed the part that said clearly any one slighted would openly seek revenge through the courts, none of that turn the other cheek malarkey and very frowned upon in this day and age.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A couple of mistakes here and there., 15 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the paperback when I was in the U.K. but wanted to buy the kindle edition too for when I was on the move. The book itself is hands down one of the best introductions to Ancient Greece. The Kindle edition, unfortunately, has too many errors! If you want to read the original, I recommend buying the paperback.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars College work, 11 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book for college and found that it was outstanding and easy to follow and made my course work a lot easier
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Greeks (Penguin History)
The Greeks (Penguin History) by H. Kitto (Perfect Paperback - 28 Feb 1991)
£9.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews