14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Food for thought,
This review is from: An Intimate History Of Humanity (Paperback)
I endorse Cassini24's review and would add the following comments.
Zeldin tends towards sweeping statements. When he touches on subjects I know about he is sometimes (a) not quite right (b) misleading or (c) wrong. This makes me wonder whether the same applies to matters upon which I cannot make a judgment of my own. It makes me reluctant to take him on trust.
The case studies that begin each chapter often have little discernable relationship to the analysis that follows. The people appear selected to meet Zeldin's agenda. They tend to be high or low achievers (personally, work-wise or artistically) whereas a representative sample would surely have produced more middle ground.
But ultimately you don't have to agree with such conclusions as Zeldin reaches and I suspect that is not the point. There are interesting insights and from previous reviews some readers have obviously taken a lot from the book. Any book that produces food for thought can't be all bad. But I find it difficult to see how this can be a five star read.