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The one thing this book is missing is Barbarians. You might spot one or two peaking from behind a stack of books in the university library here, but its purely accidental. This book could have been summed up in a sticker: "There is no scientific evidence of anything that happened in Northern Europe after the Neanderthal, and before the 1600's." This isn't a book about the barbarians, but about all the writers that have said anything that wasn't substantiated by scientific evidence, regarding the northern (don't call them "Germanic") tribes. Its not just modern writers that he attacks either; anything the Romans or Greeks wrote was either secondhand or completely made up and should all be either disregarded completely or taken as parable. If you want to read anything about the Migration Period (he even questions the use of this term, saying that, at the time it was happening, nobody would have called it the Migration Period-well, no s**t, it was probably called, "Lets get the heck outa here") look somewhere else.
At first I suspected that this was some kind of revisionism aimed at deconstructing the idea of a unified Germany, but as it progressed, it didn't seem like he was against a unified Germany, just one that was prehistoric. All and all, pedantic and geared toward refuting academia and not really presenting anything informative. This should have been a paper, not an audiobook selection. I kind of want my money back.
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A good account of the forces surrounding the end of the Roman empire, and how those forces interacted. The material was a bit dry, but that was expected going into the reading.
What disappointed you about Barbarian Tides: The Migration Age and the Later Roman Empire?
I am always reluctant to criticize someone who has taken such trouble to educate me. But this really needs an editor.
I would strenuously advise the author to remove all testimony to his greatness and likewise, the re-enactment of past academic disputes. All new ideas are pilloried by mediocre minds - if that doesn't take place, the book is not adequately marketed.
He also needs to make up his mind about what he is writing - the history or how that evolved. Personally, I have trouble imagining both subjects in the same book whilst preserving coherence.
Both subjects are interesting and relevant, but I would at least put them in separate parts.
The conclusion chapter is actually the most impressive - I would advise expanding it into the rest of the book!
Would you ever listen to anything by Walter Goffart again?