I bought this book for background reading as I'm writing a novel set in that period. It is a classic, excellently researched and providing a balanced view of events. As expected from the series, it's comprehensive in its analysis of personalities, events and politics. You need to bear in mind, though, that it was first written in 1953; time (and writing style) have moved on since then; paragraphs and sentences are long and sometimes an effort to read. Chosen at random, one sentence was seven lines long, perfectly grammatical and sensible, but I had to re-read it. They don't write 'em like that any more! And, of course, the book focuses on the 'top end' - peasants don't get much of a look in unless, of course, they're revolting!
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