Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent balance and fact and analysis, 25 Nov. 2012
This review is from: The Roman Republic: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
There has been a increasingly prevalent habit in history writing in recent years to over-analyse and under-inform, and this book, as with most of the Very Short Introduction series (despite their compact format), manages to refreshingly buck this trend. Interspersing an eloquently expressed outline of over 700 years of history with chapters of thematic analysis when relevant, Gwynn provides a concise and surprisingly detailed insight into the Roman republic that belies its length. An excellent addition to the series, that at least for me prompted further reading.
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Initial post: 4 Aug 2014 09:42:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Aug 2014 10:16:04 BDT
Briar says:
Spot on Sir! To over-analyse and under-inform, as Oscar Wilde said to Whistler: 'I wish I had said that'. I was half-way there though and I shall remember it now, with gratitude.

One further thought, though difficult to express, one hazards a try. It has occurred to me from time to time that eventhough modern historiography claims to be 'scientific' it cannot validly claim to be so in the absence of the provision of an analysis of the characters and personalities of the players. For instance, it may be asked whether Julius Caesar, or for that matter, Churchill, were psychopaths? Some argue that the bulk of war honours are won by psychopaths.
A recently published book on psychopathy asserts: Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused. Qualities tailor-made for success in battle, or indeed, many other spheres of human activity? I leave it to the imagination of others.
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