Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History

[From 2009] O'Donnell attempts to tell the history of the Roman Empire through our modern multicultural sentiments. He is somewhat successful at removing the biases of the historians of antiquity - but then steers the history directly through the biases and modern day worldview.
The book's biggest downfall, however, is the lack of focus. He shows his knowledge by bringing in Wagner-playing Ipods and various Shakespeare characters. However, he fails to provide a compelling narrative. Whole sections often appear to do nothing more than show off his literary knowledge, rather than advance the narrative. With a little more focus, this book could have potential.

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