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The Ancient Guide to Modern Life Hardcover – 4 Nov 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (4 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846683238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846683237
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The Ancient Guide to Modern Life does two things at once: it reminds us (or tells us) about people, events and practices in the Greek and Roman world, and at the same time explores their contemporary echoes and parallels. A classic double-whammy, in fact - and delivered with wonderful energy, wit, zeal and expertise. Irresistible. (Andrew Motion)

As wise as Socrates, as witty as Aristophanes, as modern as tomorrow - a classic for our times. (Gyles Brandreth)

An entertaining romp through the politics and society of the ancient Romans and Greeks ... so overflowing with lively, pertinent little nuggets it's surprising it doesn't come endorsed by Boris Johnson (Claire Allfree Metro)

A passionate authority on the classics (The List)

Witty ... for a curious-minded someone who likes to get their teeth into some intelligent non-fiction and 'mmmm' appreciatively (Bea Hodgkin Easy Living)

Brilliant (Charlotte Higgins Guardian)

Haynes debunks plenty of myths about the ancient world and delivers her history lessons in a light-hearted tone (Christopher Silvester Daily Express)

A romp through some of the best-known, and some of the most obscure, writers, thoughts and stories of Greece and Rome. Haynes does a good job in debunking myths perpetuated by popular culture ... and also manages to give intelligent overviews of some of the knottier problems that academic scholarship has grappled with ... a passionate defence of Classics (Jerry Toner TLS)

Book Description

How modern are our lives? Or are we still living the lives our ancestors lived?

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are many "pageturners" out there, but few inform as freely and entertainingly as this book. I enjoy history and the classics but don't think I've ever come across an author that gets the point across while making you think in such an easy and entertaining manner. Natalie Haynes would've been my choice of teacher / lecturer rather than some of the dry sticks I had to endure. She also managed to nudge my thinking into new tangents without being overbearing, making me enjoy the journey.
I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone with even a passing interest in history, it could be used as a primer to go on to greater things or just merely to entertain those already wandering that path.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure about this book before I started it; was it going to be a dreary exercise in trying to make the ancient world relevant to today? I needn't have worried, although I can't easily describe the focus of the book, it works really well.
The author knows her stuff. In themed chapters she outlines various elements of ancient life, and links them to the world today. Sometimes, this means that we see that nothing in life is new, sometimes, the link will be less concrete, but there nonetheless. Some links are stronger than others, but there were few that I could take exception to!
The epilogue is a glorious 'call to arms' for learning for it's own sake. I had to agree with every word. For anyone who thinks that ancient history and the classics are meaningless, I would ask you to read this book, and think again.
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Format: Audio Download Verified Purchase
Like many good book , you don't realise that you're being educated (and not just about the Greeks & Romans) as the style it is written in is very relaxed and the reader is not talked down to. It's like a very informal conversation.
The narrator on the audio book has been very well chosen and has a manner of reading which compliments the material very well. Also you learn how some of the more convoluted (to modern ears!) Greek and Roman names should be pronounced...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book, and own both the audio book and the kindle version. Natalie's writing style is clear and engaging, and covers a broad range of material. I have a degree already in classical studies (from about 20 years ago), but I haven't studied the classical world since my degree. This book reinspired me. It introduced me to areas that I didn't cover in my degree, and made me want to read the material in the original material. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about the classical world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book - very readable and witty along the way. It was a good nostalgic journey for me because I studied Classics for A Level fifteen years ago. It was mainly fairly familiar stuff and really good to have it all in one little volume. I will reread it at some point soon so that I can take a bit more in. It's organised into topics (e.g. women, politics, law, theatre) which kept it much more interesting than a straightforward chronology. I also really liked the approach of considering the parallels and differences with our modern world and was sorry when I got to the end. I would definitely recommend it - a lovely blend of light but intellectually-stimulating non-fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've only just finished this book and cannot express how much I enjoyed it. As a former Latin student, I found many familiar things in this book, but also many concepts and characters new to me. I really enjoyed how the author constantly linked back to the modern world and gave us food for thought. The ancients really do have much to teach us, and for those who can't be bothered trawling through the originals, this is a great summary!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent, fun way to be introduced to the ancient world
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this lively read which shows how relevant the classical world is to our modern life. The author is very knowledgable about the ancient world but has a very modern and up to date style herself. This book is very accessible and a good read.
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