I had seen the famous film and a few documentaries about Spartacus so I bought this book wanting to get a bit more detail. That's exactly what I got- "a bit more detail."
It turns out the source material is so thin and contradictory on many points that an actual book on Spartacus is almost impossible to write. I gave up counting how many times "maybe" or "probably" or "could have been" were used. What's worse is it is standard in any popular history book to include some pictures but here there are none save the covers. Indeed the author pads out the meagre page count (printed in a very large font) by describing statues, coins or landscapes where pictures would have been much more evocative.
The Story of Spartacus is riveting and Strauss is rigorous in explaining where the facts are contested or vague and does a good job of filling in the blanks with reasonable conjecture but as a book this is a very patchy affair.
If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
6 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?