About the book
From Homer to Himmler, from Thucydides to Freud, Mycenae has occupied a singular place in the western imagination. Gere takes us from the Cult of the Hero that sprung up in the shadow of the great burned walls in the eighth century BC, to Agamemnon's twentieth-century reincarnation as an Aryan military genius and to the distinctly anti-heroic conclusions of modern archaeology. The Wonders of the World is a series of books that focuses on some of the world's most famous sites or monuments. Their names will be familiar to almost everyone: they have achieved iconic stature and are loaded with a fair amount of mythological baggage. These monuments have been the subject of many books over the centuries, but our aim, through the skill and stature of the writers, is to get something much more enlightening, stimulating, even controversial, than straightforward histories or guides.
With wit and energy, Gere peels away layers of modern fantasy, literary imagination, political appropriation and fashions of modern scholarship.
[A] wide-ranging and often surprising fulfilment of the book's title, namely a search for a hero.
[An] insightful account of how the archaeological ruins of Mycenae have been interpreted and misinterpreted to fit contemporary cultural agenda.
An engaging mix of cultural analysis, biography and archaeological history. Ambitious...illuminating and witty.
A wonderful story of wonderful times. Cathy Gere walks in the footsteps of the past and exposes the manipulators of history with a sophistication and élan that rivals the gold of Mycenae itself.