This is part of the pattern established with The Nile, and --in the long analysis -- his decision to keep his balance in normal emphasis on the many centuries of past history, and give only superficial suggestion to modern history, is justified. But it makes the book seem prosy -- slow moving. One feels impatient to get to his analysis of the place of the Mediterranean in the world crisis, and then feels letdown when he attempts no appraisal, no prophecy but lets history speak for itself. Once accepted as what it is, the book looms larger, for -- impinging on this vast inland sea, is the sweep of Western civilization. An introductory section analyzes the geology, geography, climate, mountains, harbors, bays and shores, living things -- and man. Then the historic panorama unfolds -- a dramatic slow-motion picture, with todays problems implicit.