Spiegel, in elegant and thoughtful fashion, and with a deep understanding of the period, provides us with a skillful analysis of the sources, their inter-connections, and the motives of their authors, which makes this a very useful and worthwhile book.
Successful in its entirety, as parts and as a whole. It is lucid, acute, deeply humane in the author's ongoing project of understanding the medieval past and the history-making present. It is a reader-friendly book in the very best sense. It is good theory and good history: postmodernism without apocalyptic posing, exhilarating and humane.