This book covers not just battles and kings, but culture, religion and reasons for conflict. The author uses primary sources and is a 19th century "age of reason" Englishman. This means he is a bit condescending to women and thinks constitutional monarchy is the best guaranter of freedom, but aside from that he is astonishingly fair and balanced about his treatment of the diverse religions and cultures of Romans, Byzantines, Germanic and Steppes tribes, Franks and Germans, Arab Moslems, Turkish Moslems, North Africans (pre and post Moslem) and of all the flavors of religion from Pagan to Jew to zillions of Christian flavors to Moslem that interacted between the time of Augustus and 17th century.
He has a kind of dry humor and sarcasm that he applies to everything equally. He's consistent about the virtues he admires or the faults he deplores regardless of religion or culture. This series also has the most objective view of the Crusades I've ever read.
At about $1 per hour of listening it is a tremendous value if you are at all interested in the history of the western world from about the birth of Christ and the origins of a lot of the current problems in the Middle East.
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