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In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World it Made (Central Asian Studies) Paperback – February 4, 2002

1 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Norman Cantor is Professor of History, Sociology and Comparative Literature at New York University and is America's leading historian of the Middle Ages.

Product Details

  • Series: Central Asian Studies
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 4th Impression edition (February 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743430352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743430357
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,588,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
While the book is occasionally an interesting read, the author presents it in a style that appears to reflect his own world-view thereby clouding the 'historical' aspect (the reader is obliquely warned as the cover states that the book is a narrative). Some examples of this (from the 3rd chapter only) were:

(describing the young Princess Joan) She was a top-drawer white girl, a European princess, ...
(with regards to the English King) Three flunkies of the royal household...
(contextually speaking about English fashion) Good taste was not a quality of the English monarchy then or now.
(after describing the 'value' of some English-held church sacrament items) It was a long way from the Sermon on the Mount.
(and in another description, there were several, of the differences between 14th century lives and ours today) But the nobility did not act that way, preferring more the visceral contact of the hunting dogs and hawks they loved than the anxiety-ridden, memory-dominated self-consciousness of affluent and well-educated people today.

If one shares this view, and it's accompanying style of apparently subjective editorializing, the book would be a much more enjoyable read.
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