Lost to the West

Lost to the West

The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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Historian Brownworth presents an absorbing look at the forgotten Byzantine Empire, its surprising role in shaping Western civilization, and the lessons it holds for modern societies.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307407955
0307407950
Call Number: 949.502 B825L
Characteristics: xviii, 329 p. : maps (some col.) ; 25 cm

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b
biblioholic
Apr 18, 2012

Very accessible, a fun read on a dense topic. Oriented to the personalities of historical figures. Whet you appetite on this one, and then delve deeper in more scholarly works to learn more about the region that, today, so dominates our lives.

a5a22406 Nov 27, 2011

Wow, what a dynamite read of the 'other' Roman Empire. Lars has done an excellent compilation of the Byzantine Empire and he has an easy reading style of writing. I highly recommend it.

c
coalbanks
Jun 24, 2011

Huge amount of info delivered in a light, humourous fashion that sprints rather than plods through the millenium of the Eastern Roman Empire aka Byzantium.

rod368 Jun 20, 2011

Interesting subject, poor execution.

The prose is crammed with cliches, mixed metaphors, ill-suited similes, vague yet trumpeting superlatives, redundancy, and excess verbiage of every sort. Rare is the sentence unburdened by these off-putting qualities. I found myself constantly mentally rewriting what I was reading into a cleaner, crisper form. I hate to abandon a book, but I nearly did this one, and must admit I simply skimmed the final 2 chapters.

In addition to these literary sins, the authorial bias in favour of Christianity (vs. Islam), Byzantium (vs. any other empire), and Great Men (vs. the horrors the ordinary person must have endured throughout this bloody history) became so heavy by the end that the elegiac tone was unmoving and even irritating. I wonder what the author makes of the Islamic Golden Age that rose and fell in al-Andalus (modern-day Andalusia in Spain) during the same period?

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