In the ""Inside Story"" aeries, a detailed look at the Parthenon--its historical setting (built not only to honor Athena but to provide work for former soldiers after the Persian Wars); its design, construction, and architectural details; its uses and subsequent history. Combining a generally explanatory text with detailed illustrations of different sizes, each with a caption clarifying and extending the text, the book conveys an admirable amount of in-depth information about this vast, wonderfully complex structure. The author's organization is more topical than sequential, with the result that it's often necessary for the reader to piece facts together--e.g., by searching captions for a definition of a word in the text. The realistic, finely detailed illustrations do an excellent job of showing how the different elements were made and assembled; but the noble effect of the whole, and especially of the heroic statuary, is less effectively conveyed--in part because of the delicacy of Bergin's style. Still, all in all, unusually thorough and authoritative. Glossary; index.