Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
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.