This is one in a series of books which explores in relatively short books the culture and achievement of Greece and Rome. The books offer concise introductory and interpretative material on their particular topic - in this case, Augustan Rome. The author, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, is the author of several books on Roman subjects, and seems to be quite an authority on the subject. He describes this book, not as a narrative of the period but as an interpretative essay covering 31 BC - AD 14. Political changes, which were many and complex in this period, are set into the Roman world as a broader canvas. Although first published in 1992, this book is still lively and relevant, and Roman history of the period, confusing and complex as it is, is brought to an understandable level in this brief book.
This is an extremely readable and thought-provoking book on the times of Augustan Rome; from the importance of the Battle of Actium to the man and his myth, how he "restored" the Republic (but to what?), his links with divinity and the dynastic manouvres. Highly recommended as an introduction to Augustus and the Rome he tried to build.