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sara

milwaukee, WI, United States | Member Since 2005

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  • Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Thomas Cahill
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    Best selling history writer Thomas Cahill continues his series on the roots of Western civilization with this volume about the contributions of ancient Greece to the development of contemporary culture. Tracing the origin of Greek culture in the migrations of armed Indo-European horsemen into Attica and the Peloponnesian peninsula, he follows their progress into the creation of the Greek city-states, the refinement of their machinery of war, and the flowering of intellectual and artistic culture.

    Mike says: "Really enjoyed this Audiobook; a good model"
    "The title: concrete. The approach: not so much."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author implies in his title that he is going to answer the question: Why do the Greeks matter? And then he doesn't really answer it directly. For that reason, I was disappointed with the book.

    In the Introduction, he writes, ". . . I assemble what pieces there are, contrast and compare, and try to remain in their presence . . . and then I try to communicate these sensations to my reader. So you will find in this book no breakthrough discoveries, no cutting edge scholarship, just, if I have succeeded, the feelings and perceptions of another age."

    And that is exactly what you get. In my opinion, the worst thing about the book is the title.

    That being said . . . he organizes his material in an interesting way: warrior (the illiad), wanderer (the odyssey), poet (other poetry), politician (drama), philosophy, and art & architecture. He begins each section with a myth that he feels embodies the points he wants to illustrate. Then he shows his reader how each artform is a reflection of the ancient greeks and their culture. It's all broadbrush strokes, very impressionistic.

    It's a review of everything you already know. It's just a new way of organizing it. I think his quote from the Introduction says it all.

    It is very well written, and it is very interesting. I was just looking for something with bullet points. There were no bullet points in this book.





    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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