Michael Johnston's Reviews > The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life

The Hemlock Cup by Bettany Hughes
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's review
Jan 24, 12

Read from August 08, 2011 to January 24, 2012

I have a keen interest in history and picked this up hoping to find a good biography of Socrates and/or a good history of ancient Greece in Socrates time. What I got was a wildly inconsistent read. Long stretches of the book were a struggle to get through. I don't know whether this means that my interest in ancient Greek history is not what I thought or whether it was just uninteresting writing. Either way, I struggled to get through this book (which is very unusual for me). The beginning and some of the ending was good but long stretches in the middle offered no drama, repeatedly used grand cliches that provided no educational value and in the end the book did not really give me a personal feel for the life and times of Socrates. I would suggest this for only the most diehard of history buffs. Others - stay away.

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