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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 1177BC: The Year Nothing Much Happened, 4 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History) (Hardcover)
This is a calm, safe and scholarly survey marketed as a popular read, with a big claim title (and cover!). Cline's style is not the most felicitous and he is not one to bring the period to life, so the read is not terribly rewarding. This is a pity because the breakdown of cosmopolitan palace-based civilisations around 1200BC is as fascinating and relevant as anyone could wish. If you need this for a Ph.D bibliography, fair enough, and the references and notes will be of use. As a general reader, you may be disappointed. However, I'll end with a kind of positive: Cline makes it both explicitly and implicitly clear just how hard it is to reconstruct (or even distinguish) events, causes and effects from archeological remains, some clay tablets, some hieroglyphs, some emerging climatological findings and an enormous scholarly effort. In that sense his modesty is genuinely hard-earned, so it's perhaps the publisher I'm criticising.
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