My review of The Inheritance of Rome by Chris Wickham ran today at PopMatters.
I picked up this book based on some buzz I heard, and though I don’t think it lived up to the hype, it was a generally satisfying reading experience. Wickham is an academic writer, and his survey of medieval development gives all elements equal weight and attention, when in all honesty, some subjects are far more intriguing than others. His chapters on the dissolution of Roman control are incredibly interesting, but as primary sources begin to become more scarce, the quality of The Inheritance of Rome becomes spotty, most compelling for the more literate cultures like the Byzantine Empire or Carolingian Francia, more tedious for cultures like Anglo-Saxon England, which are mostly pieced together through archeological evidence.
Buy The Inheritance of Rome by Chris Wickham at Amazon.com