Ferguson is a fine narrator and impressive scholar, but above all he is a passionate teacher who understands that his responsibility in an age of philistine education and mass ignorance is to teach us the lessons of history. His achievement is to create a heartbreaking, serious and thoughtful survey of human evil that is utterly fascinating and dramatic, and always has something new to tell us. His book can be variously enjoyed as superb narrative history, a collection of essays on the key themes of the 20th century or just a sumptuous treasure trove of fresh facts and the latest scholarly interpretations.
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