Chris Abel's Reviews > Europe: A History

Europe by Norman Davies
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's review
Sep 11, 2010

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bookshelves: history, partially-read, someday-maybe
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For several years, history has been the primary focus of what I read. Having not had a formal course in history since high school, I decided to read this book in order to build a general base of knowledge which can inform my future book choices.

Given the length of the book, and the time commitment that it will likely require to complete, I've decided to split it into sections, and then temporarily put the book aside after reading each section.

Over the past month (early Aug. - early Sept. 2010), I finished the first section: the introduction, the chapter on European prehistory, and the chapters on Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

Although I am very much enjoying the book, I am finding it somewhat lacking in its recitation of the basic historical facts. I am finding myself going to Wikipedia frequently to supplement my reading.

In the chapter on Ancient Greece, if felt to me as if Davies assumed that the reader would already be familiar with the basic facts, dates, and battles of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. Even worse, he jumped right into the middle of the Second Punic War at the end of the chapter without explaining who Hannibal was and how he had gotten to northern Italy.

The following chapter on Ancient Rome was better in this regard, but I still found myself consulting Wikipedia frequently.
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Reading Progress

08/15 page 73
5.0% "Great so far!"
03/31 marked as: someday-maybe
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