Customer Review

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marketing Triumph, 24 Sep 2007
This review is from: The English Civil War: A People's History (Paperback)
Having struggled with the 'people's history' for several months - and pushed it around my desk whilst other books get devoured in a few days - I have reached to about page 400. At some point I will read the remaining third of the book: but see no great urgency. Clearly therefore I am not astounded - though I have been charmed by some of the vignettes, and entertained by some of the more arcane details. The illnesses of Charles I, and some of the social history, do make this a worthwhile volume.

Neverthless on the down side even a fairly casual and incomplete reading shows quite a number of errors, or points of confusion. It is worth examining a few of these. On page 3 we read that '800,000 people' died during the course of the conflict: most estimates suggest that disease and fighting between them claimed rather less than 200,000. On page 4 we see that 'universal male sufferage' and 'promotion on merit' were 'invented' during the war as well as the 'need for home and food' (!). On page 45 we are told that 'most' people who experienced the English Civil War were Londoners. On page 48 the Battle of Worcester is fought in 1650 - which is strange as celebrated military historian Richard Holmes has written a book entitled 'Worcester 1651'. On page 56 we are told that 40% of Royal expenditure was on the 'household' - whilst many others have suggested that war and the navy were the really expensive items in Stuart expenditure. How many similar errors occur later in the book is anybody's guess.

In short there are many more reliable volumes on the market - as for example those by Austen Woolrych or Trevor Royle - but curiously it is the 'people's history' which occupies all the best slots on the book chain shelves. This is an object lesson in the power of marketing. . .

Three stars is a generous assessment based on one for the social history interest; one for the fact that the book is inexpensive; and one for 'benefit of doubt'- since I have yet to finish. Read carefully for entertainment and a 'feel' of period - not for factual content.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Aug 2013 11:27:58 BDT
James says:
Nit picking.....

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2013 00:14:43 GMT
N. Halpin says:
Damning indictment more like...
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.0 out of 5 stars (30 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
12.99 9.09
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,757