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Publisher's Summary

To say the Punic Wars (264-146 BC) were a turning point in world history is a vast understatement. This bloody and protracted conflict pitted two flourishing Mediterranean powers against one another, leaving one an unrivalled giant and the other a literal pile of ash. To later observers, a collision between these civilizations seemed inevitable and yet to the Romans and Carthaginians at the time hostilities first erupted seemingly out of nowhere, with what were expected to be inconsequential results.
Mastering the West offers a thoroughly engrossing narrative of this century of battle in the western Mediterranean, while treating a full range of themes: the antagonists' military, naval, economic, and demographic resources; the political structures of both republics; and the postwar impact of the conflicts on the participants and victims. The narrative also investigates questions of leadership and the contributions and mistakes of leaders like Hannibal, Fabius the Delayer, Scipio Africanus, Masinissa, and Scipio Aemilianus.
Dexter Hoyos, a leading expert of the period, treats the two great powers evenly, without neglecting the important roles played by Syracuse, Macedon, and especially Numidia. Written with verve in a clear, accessible style, Mastering the West will be the most reliable and engaging narrative of this pivotal era in ancient history.
©2015 Oxford University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Michael S Healy on 02-05-15

Great story -- coughing, breathy narrator.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Overall, I learned a lot from the author but laughed at the poor production.

What did you like best about this story?

The history is compelling and insightful.

How could the performance have been better?

The producer did not catch the cough at 5:27 in audio CHAPTER 5 nor the loud inhalations throughout the recording.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?


Any additional comments?

AUDIBLE's quality is starting to drop.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Mr Mock on 09-29-17

Jarring narration ruins an otherwise great history

Did no one at the publisher think to give a proof read listen to this audiobook before letting it be submitted to the public?

I was soldiering my way through, forgiving the slightly mispronounced words at first such as instead of Hannibal, it was more like Han E. Ball, much like saying John F Kennedy.

But it got worse, and not steadily, but suddenly! As soon as we begin with the 2nd Punic War, the narrator suddenly forgets how to pronounce Latin names. And boy is it jarring! Fabius the Delayer becomes Fab A Uass. The narrator actually pronounces the same name about 4 different ways to the point that the listener isn't quite sure if he is talking about the same person anymore or not.

Had the narrator pronounced names like that from the start, I could have gotten over it and finished the book. It is the fact that half way through he forgets how to read Latin!


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