16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Hardly an argument,
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This review is from: Full Circle: How the Classical World Came Back to Us (Hardcover)Ferdinand Mount is a writer of considerable ability and facility, and this makes it easy for him to put together a catena of more and less accurate facts and observations and offer it as if it were a justifiable thesis or as a set of insights.
Far from being either of those, it is a collection of weak correlations masquerading as scholarship. He says that the modern world has striking similarities with the ancient world, yet feels free to ignore the fact that the classical world covers several hundred years of complex history and includes widely differing cultures. Take a big enough time-frame and geographical spread, decide not to be too careful about the criteria for similarity, and write in vague, generalising terms and you can always find apparent parallels between any age & culture and any other.
If a work like this was submitted to a publisher by a writer who hasn't got Mount's cachet then the only outcome would be a rejection slip. Quite simply, it is impossible to take Mount's book seriously.
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Initial post: 19 Feb 2011 00:49:36 GMT
James-philip Harries says:
Fair enough. But I like Mount's stuff and this sounds like a good laugh even if it's tosh. So I'm going to buy it.
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