The Greeks: A Global History

Basic. Oct. 2021. 592p. ISBN 9781541618299. $35. HIST
Historian Beaton’s (Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation) latest history of Greece and the Greeks goes beyond his deep knowledge of Byzantine and modern Greece to encompass the entire span of Greek history, from Bronze Age settlements to the austerity politics of the modern state. His aim is to examine how the Greeks of each era perceived themselves as a culture and civilization, and how concepts from the relatively short era of classical Greece have particularly shaped Greek identity. The book’s massive scope has the benefit of illustrating how the Greek-speaking world shifted throughout time as empires fell and rose. Beaton makes the case that the evolution into a modern nation-state has been particularly fraught for a people whose identity was shaped by language (and later religion) than a geographic area. The story becomes more compelling as it becomes more complex, and the contrast between ancient and modern history more apparent.
VERDICT The book’s wide historic focus offers something for general readers interested in any period of Greek history; particularly good for enthusiasts of Greek antiquity who want to expand their knowledge.
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