Friday, August 27, 2010

Review - The Classics: All You Need to Know, from Zeus's Throne to the Fall of Rome by Caroline Taggart

TITLE:    The Classics:  All You Need to Know, from Zeus's Throne to the Fall of Rome
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Caroline Taggart
INFO:    Hardback, Reference, 169 pages
PUBLISHED:   Readers Digest, 2010
ISBN#:   978-1-60652-132-8
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from FSB Media for review

The thought of ancient civilizations is enough to make anyone groan. Between long hours of tedious mathematics and years of droning Latin classes, it's no wonder that the Greek and Roman societies are most often thought of as dull subjects from school. The Classics, however, flips this long-standing opinion on its head, revealing the clever humor and impressive technological and scientific advancements made by these societies. Between the ninth century B.C. and the seventh century A.D., these great civilizations thrived, leaving behind a legacy felt in every part of the world-from language to medicine, from art to architecture.   

The Classics lets you understand the importance of...
  • The Greek alphabet, from alpha to omega
  • The history and characteristics that define Greek and Roman architecture and its influence on modern building
  • Greek and Latin words, which make up more than 30 percent of the words in the English language, and how you can build your vocabulary by learning the roots 
  • The Greek and Roman gods, the mythology surrounding them, and the part these figures play in our culture
  • Almost 1,000 years of Greek and Roman history, from the birth of democracy to Caesar's empire
  • The philosophies taught by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and what their ideas have contributed to the world we live in today
  • How the modern cultural staples such as the Olympics were formed by classical literature, written by authors such as Homer and Cicero-what happened, what does it mean, and why is it still being read and taught today
  • And much more!
This concise and witty text makes both a fascinating introduction to the world that became the foundation for Western Civilization and the perfect refresher course for the individual looking to brush up on years of schooling. The Classics puts the same information available in volumes of stuffy textbooks at your fingertips in one entertaining read, guaranteed to inform and delight.

MY TAKE:   I got a kick out of this sometimes irreverent book.  Ms. Taggart takes what can sometimes be a very, very dry subject and injects quite a bit of wit and humor into it.  She touches on things such as the roots of words in language, the greats such as Homer and Aristotle, and then pokes a bit of fun at their logic and rhetoric.  It makes for a relatively easy read and a quick source of reference.  Very informative and interesting book.
MY RATING:    3/5


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  1. I do like when books like this is something more than just dry facts

  2. It definitely makes it easier to read and learn about the subject :)


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