15 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Biased and paradoxical, 26 Dec. 2012
Tom Holland, a so called historian with no qualifications in History attempts to write a comprehensive study on Persian history. In fact the book speaks more about Greek history, so don't be fooled by the name. He tries to draw parallels between the conflict between Persian and Greece (East and West) and today's conflict's (i.e. USA with Afghanistan etc.). Both are in an entirely different context. He uses the term "barbarians" constantly in reference to the Persians, whilst trying to distinguish the Greeks as being heroes or a civilized/utopian people, when history shows the ancient Greeks as having a very barbaric, corrupt, totalitarian governance, example is the Spartans. Clearly there is no neutral perspective, rather its a one sided narrative, anyone reading the book can verify this for themselves. Further flaws include; Holland referencing Pierre Briant's 'histoire', which he clearly has no clue of what's written in it, as he mentions the Gadatas letter as being genuine, when Briant in Histoire says it lacks validity. Be careful of who you learn your history from!