I wouldn't recommend this book for those without a general knowledge of the history of the period or tying the many specific examples Greengrass uses might not coalesce into a comprehensible picture; however, the bits and pieces do make for interesting reading. I thought his approach to the 30 Years War provided a most interesting insight of the conflict: It contains virtually no military history - unusual for coverage of a war - rather he looks at the changing pressures put on the major players in the conflict, their motives, changing alliances and so forth that well explains this most confusing conflict in a new light. Scholars of this period should find this book indispensable; for the average reader perhaps a bit of a challenge - why I gave it four instead of five stars. The author's writing style is approachable but also interestingly oblique and pithy.
This book is excellent and I would recommend it to any of my friends who are interested in history. This book was excellent and I enjoyed every word in it. It was an amazing book and I give it 5 stars.