Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn more Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars11
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
1
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 2 June 2008
Malcolm Barber has achieved what can only be described as a tour de force in the study of medieval European history. Getting a copy of this book should be a top priority of any student wishing to study this period. I can almost guarantee you will find a subject, although I would be surprised if you were to find only one, relevant to your course. If you don't I would suggest that it is probably due to poor course design rather than a failing in the breadth of Barber's material. The Two Cities contains key information on subjects ranging from the Crusades to the Italian City States as well as the Iberian Reconquista and the Investiture Controversy, along with many others. The sheer volume of information, and the scope of the subjects covered, make it a perfect foundation for the study of medieval Europe. However, do not let its recommendation as a base text lead you to believe that it only offers the briefest outline of the areas covered. While, obviously, books entirely dedicated to one topic may provide a greater wealth of information within a narrower field, the depth of information and the diligent research within each subject area of The Two Cities is astonishing. In all, this intelligently written, accessible volume provides detailed information on a wealth of subject areas and, as it is available for around £20, is well worth its price tag.
Personally I feel I owe Professor Barber a drink, due to the utterly indispensible information provided by his volume (especially with regards to revision) during my recent medieval Europe module, taken as part of my English Literature/History degree.
22 comments|29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 23 April 2011
This is a very readable book, suitable as an introduction for any reader interested in learning about Medieval Europe in the period from 1050-1320. This is a time of much change in Europe, with the Crusades, religious reform movements, the beginning of the creation of nation states, the struggle between Papacy and Hohenstaufen, and a growing perception of culture which grew in time into what is generally called the Renaissance.

Malcom Barber's writing is very approachable; his obvious enjoyment of his subject comes across in the book, and as such it is very readable to anyone who is interested, whether you approach the period with prior knowledge or not. The writing style allows for a comprehensive understanding of what can be very complex subjects in a broad geographic and chronological timeframe.

The book is broken into four main sections: social and economic structure, the Church, political change, and perceptions of the world, and approaches the period thematically overall. A brief but good bibliography follows to lead the reader to more books on subjects of interest. The title of the book, The Two Cities, refers to one of the main themes that holds throughout the book, the comparison and contrast between the secular and the ecclesiastical; and how their interaction shaped and formed this period in European history.

A very worthwhile read for anyone interested in the period. A particularly good book for anyone who approaches the subject with little or no knowledge; this book offers a very good introduction to such a reader, and a continuing reference book that will be used and referred to again and again.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 June 2015
I had the pleasure of being taught by Malcolm Barber a number of years ago. The joy of this book is its breadth and his enthusiasm for the subject matter. Barber is superb on the cultural and artistic developments of the period and places them firmly within their historical context. For a student new to Duccio, Giotto, Abbot Suger and the like, there is no better place to start.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 January 2015
This was a reccomended textbook at uni for first getting to grips with the era. I didn't bother reading it as uni was too specialised to care about generic overviews but read after uni and does what it says on tin. Interesting read but useless for uni
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 May 2016
very good book for a very good price
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 September 2014
The rendering of images, tables and other important references in the Kindle version of this book are absolutely appalling. Many cannot be viewed at all, therefore no stars here. But I have to put one: "star rating required"!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 October 2014
Much better than expected. A joy.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 August 2014
A very interesting book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 January 2014
I bought this for my university course and it has helped. It is an interesting read! I would recommend this!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 October 2009
My daughter is in her 2nd yr at Uni studying History, this book is one of many she needed access to, so at this price and condition was a bargain. Thanks.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)