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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization Paperback – Jun 1 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (June 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307407969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307407962
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 16.9 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Prairie Pal TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 27 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who teaches Byzantine history I was delighted to see that Lars Brownworth, creator of the very helpful podcast series 12 Byzantine Rulers, had written a book on the importance of Byzantium. The subtitle of Lost to the West promises much -- The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization -- but does it deliver?

Yes and no. Certainly Lost to the West is a nice little introduction to the history of the Roman empire in the east that survived for a thousand years after Rome itself had fallen to the German barbarians. The book is easy to understand, full of interesting anecdotes and possesses the jaunty journalistic style that marked the podcasts. But that's all there is: nothing is handled in depth, no new information or interpretation is offered and certainly one might put the book down convinced that Byzantium had not bequeathed Western Civilization much more than some old manuscripts and refugee teachers of Greek.

Having said that, if you have not yet read a history of the Byzantine Empire this is a very good place to start. The works of John Julius Norwich are dry as dust, Averil Cameron's The Byzantines concentrates on social history and other works such as Constantinople 1453 are too narrowly focused to serve as an introductory book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Poirier TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 11 2010
Format: Hardcover
In just over 300 pages that turn by themselves, the author has recounted over eleven centuries of spellbinding history - that of the Byzantine Empire. Naturally, in condensing such a lengthy time period, the author had to pick the most significant events. This he did admirably in a book that reads like a suspense novel that just doesn't let go. This is history writing at its very best. The writing style is very lively, clear, authoritative, friendly and widely accessible. As one reviewer (on the dust jacket) has pointed out, the text is also peppered with "dry humour" which certainly adds to the book's entertainment value. A few useful maps are included, but otherwise there are no pictures or photos; yet these are not missed since the author's vivid, most engaging prose lets the reader's mind take control. This well-researched book can be enjoyed by any reader who loves intrigue, suspense, conspiracy, treachery, violence, etc., etc.; but in this case, it's all factual, well-documented history. Ancient history buffs who may be lacking in their knowledge of Byzantine history (like I was), will be in for quite a treat.
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By Collin C. Carbno TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 13 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Understanding the twists and turns of the Byzantine Empire and all the history is no easy task. This book makes the history come alive and gives wonderful insight into the Empire. The book gives a good perspective on what happened in this great Christian empire .... personalities, the up and downs, and eventually failure.

I think this great book for all Christians wanting an understanding of the historic development and history of the Byzantine Empire.

Highly readable, exciting, hard to put down..... it great book for Christians or anyone interested in the history of this time and empire.
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