Eric Cline’s ‘Very Short Introduction’ Reviewed

The Tribune writes

The Oxford University Press series of Very Short Introductions are the Twitter of academic literature. An eclectic pocket-size collection, each fewer than 200 pages, covering any subject a university don might fancy writing about. I’ve just read one, eye-catchingly entitled Nothing, which turned out to be a sprint through particle physics.

Twitter? That’s an insult to Eric’s work. The writer of the review does a little better further on though-

But these little books are far from being an idiot’s guide to whatever it is they are on about. They are aimed at the informed amateur who already knows something of the subject under examination.

Yet I don’t think Eric will appreciate the comparison at the end of this paragraph, the author is right in respect of the fact that Eric’s book isn’t just for interested amateurs:

So I hesitate to recommend the Very Short Introductions to a general readership. There are many better books out there designed for the beginner. Eric Cline’s Biblical Archaeology, though, is the exception. Written by a practising Biblical bone kicker – currently excavating the site of Armageddon at Megiddo in Israel – Cline is so excited and enthusiastic about the digging trade he comes across as a modern-day Indiana Jones.

The rest of the review is pretty fluffy, really. But at least Nigel commends Eric’s work. I do too.

2 thoughts on “Eric Cline’s ‘Very Short Introduction’ Reviewed

  1. Could not agree more with the review – although since I thought I was Indiana Jones, I don’t see how he could be…



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