THE SHAPING OF FRANCE by Isaac Asimov

THE SHAPING OF FRANCE

KIRKUS REVIEW

Another of Asimov's grand historical overviews, this is a fluent synthesis of the political, social and intellectual mainstreams from the accession of the first Capetian to the end of the Hundred Years' War. Asimov is particularly good on the evolving technology and prevailing ethics of medieval warfare, and the French tendency to bestow colorful epithets on their rulers makes his commonsense characterizations that much livelier. Unfortunately, however, there are neither sources nor bibliography -- nor any internal references to or citations from primary materials or other historians -- omissions which seriously limit the volume's usefulness as text or reference, and Asimov's rather mechanical tendency to include everything -- from a thumbnail sketch of the plot of Aucassin and Nicolette to the pros and cons of every genealogical dispute -- induces at times a kind of dizzying disorientation. As such pre-processed histories go, this is a competent enough job, but we doubt that many youngsters will go the whole route from cover to cover.
Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1972
ISBN: 0395138914
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1972




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