Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading Before Your Trip to Greece
If you are travelling to Greece and need an overview of history, this is a very easy, if concentrated read. The even pace and focused chapters helps you to remember the pertinent facts and sequence of events. I never really understood how Macedonia, the Roman Empire, Byzantium, Crusades, Venetians, and Ottoman/Turks were tied together, but at least I have a basic...
Published on February 20, 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The good thing about it being written by a British is ...
A very strange title as it has nothing to do with "travellers". I bought this book before my trip to Greece hoping to learn something about the historical sites. But this book said nothing about sites for the tourists except a few mentions that such and such can still be seen. Maybe it's for "time travellers"?

History? Maybe. It covers the first 5000 years in...
Published 3 months ago by Vimala Nowlis


Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading Before Your Trip to Greece, February 20, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: A Traveller's History of Greece (Paperback)
If you are travelling to Greece and need an overview of history, this is a very easy, if concentrated read. The even pace and focused chapters helps you to remember the pertinent facts and sequence of events. I never really understood how Macedonia, the Roman Empire, Byzantium, Crusades, Venetians, and Ottoman/Turks were tied together, but at least I have a basic understanding now, and why Turkey and Greece are always at odds.

I suppose in order to condense the length of the 1st half of the book, Boatswain leaves out most information about the relationship of history and Greek Mythology (their religion), and focuses on the train of events only.

Some actual photos of famous people, especially in Nicolson's second half describing recent 20th Century history would have helped rather than the cheesy drawings. Also, there is no glossary for the second half, making it difficult to review the meaning of political group abbreviations (PASOK, ERM, EOKA, EAM, KKE, ELAS, etc.)or people's names if you forget who they are (i.e, you have to go back through the book).

For the difficult task the book sets out to do (getting you to remember 4,000 years of Greek History in a painless and entertaining manner) it does a great job. I also felt Boatswain and Nicolson made a clear and successful effort to be as neutral and objective as possible. I usually dislike history books, but found myself fascinated by it all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent book for the traveler, July 28, 2012
By 
Ray T (Oregon, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Traveller's History of Greece (Paperback)
As stated in some other reviews, this is a decent book for a traveler. It is not a comprehensive history of Greece which looks at every situation from all sides. This book is a fairly quick read which will, at least, give the traveler an idea of what they are seeing and the historical context. I have studied a bit of ancient/classical Greek history and that section passed muster for a quick study. However, I had little idea about the forces that shaped modern Greece and felt I learned much from reading this book. Overall, a recommended book if you plan to travel to Greece.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for travelers, February 14, 2007
This review is from: A Traveller's History of Greece (Paperback)
This was the perfect book for a traveler looking for a short history. It was readable and gave me a good understanding of Greek history.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars The good thing about it being written by a British is ..., July 23, 2014
By 
Vimala Nowlis (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Traveller's History of Greece (Paperback)
A very strange title as it has nothing to do with "travellers". I bought this book before my trip to Greece hoping to learn something about the historical sites. But this book said nothing about sites for the tourists except a few mentions that such and such can still be seen. Maybe it's for "time travellers"?

History? Maybe. It covers the first 5000 years in 154 pages with broad strokes and the next 200 years in 145 pages wiith detailed blow by blow. It's not surprising considering that it's written by two British, one spcializing in ancient history and the other in modern history. The good thing about it being written by a British is that it views ancient history with a clear eye and is unbiased and without Greek patriotism. The bad thing about it being written by a British is that it views the modern history from a biased pro-British point of view focusing on the British involvement. Of course, if it's written by a Persian or a Turks, or by a French or a Russian, it would give a very different perspective. What would a Greek say?

Unfortunately, my interest in history is more on the ancient and the old. The term "modern history" is an oxymoron to to me. I give the book 3 stars because it's actually very well written if you don't mind it being short on history and heavy on analysis of modern Greece and none on travelling.

It must be nice to have selective memory and be able to rewrite history and reinvent identity. It's very convenient to forget that the Hellenic Greece were warring city states who could never cooperate with each other except once when facing full scale invasion by the Persians. As soon as the threat was off, they began fighting each other again and eager to seek and accept Persian help. It's convenient that they forgot that they hated being conquered by Alexander or ruled by the Macedonians. How ironic that they now proudly claim Alexander and even dare to deny Macedonians the right to their own name. They had to ask the Romans to liberate them from the Macedonians. As soon as the Romans left, they begain to fight each other again. The Romans finally had had enough of their bickerings and made it a Roman province. How nice to forget that they were part of the Roman Empire as Byzantine was Easter Roman Empire and not a Greek Empire. When faced with the Muslim threats, they turned to European Christians for help and ended up being partitioned by the Crusaders. It's convinient to forget that few ancient Hellenic descendarts survived and most modern Greeks are a mishmash of various ethnic groups that came to Greece in the last 2500 years. It's especially convinient to forget that they lived in peace and prosperity and even prestige under the Ottoman's tolerant rule for 300 years until the Europeans came along in the 19th century to fan the "nationalist" fire. Greece has not seen peace or prosperity since.

The bottom line is that nothing has changed. They still cannot cooperate with each other and factional fighting is still the order of the day. They beg the superpower of the moment to come to their rescue but resent any foreign interference. They demand change but resist any attempt at change. They focus so much on grandious ideas, they forget reality. They are a collection of contentious people full of contridictions. Maybe that's why the Greeks are such a facsinating people?

I wonder if Himmler was influenced by the Greek's "Great Idea" of the 19ty century to arch back to ancient Hellenic glroy and claim all places that any Greek had ever been as part of the modern Greece? I wonder if that's why Himmler was so particular in focusing the Nazi on the ancient Teutonic glory and claim all places that any Nordic people, the Vikings, and Germanic tribes had ever been as part of the Third Reich?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great for professors, March 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Traveller's History of Greece (Paperback)
Like the Traveller's book on Turkey, this isn't for the casual reader who would like some history before they visit the country. It is dry and boring.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

A Traveller's History of Greece
A Traveller's History of Greece by Tim Boatswain (Paperback - November 1, 2003)
$14.95 $11.85
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.