Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
Beautiful rendition of a fascinating tale.
on 2 September 2012
Being an avid traveller and a lover of historical books, this opus magna detailing in a compelling and engrossing way the history of three capital cities of the Mediterranean, was ideally suited for me, and definitely I was delighted by it.
Izmir, Alexandria and Beirut are important names in our minds of Mediterranean peoples and for some uncanny reasons all these three cities seem to be possessed by a similar genius loci, capable of instantly telling something even to the casual traveller. Their histories are masterfully narrated by the author, that often does not refrain from political comments and references to the contemporary age, that I found always to the point. A particular mention must be made of the author's style that, while quite dense, is always readable and logically organised. This is one of the rarest books that I found 100% in agreement with, as the events that shaped up often dramatically the lives of these three cities are always presented in a very convincing way, that leaves very little to different interpretations. I especially liked the easiness with which Mansel managed to describe a confused little war like the Balkans Wars of 1912-13. No mean feat at the light of the importance of this conflict as the catalyst of the Great War. A gorgeous book that must be recommended to everybody with an interest in the history of human endeav