Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
A fascinating book! While not an expert in the field, the late Mr. Kriwaczek was a superb writer with a journalist’s flair for digging out a story. While there are some lapses at the very beginning and the end of the book, the few minor factual errors will be invisible to the non-expert and are overwhelmed by all of the right-on historical insights, facts, and fascinating elements throughout the rest. The author has prodigiously researched all the pertinent secondary sources and translations of primary sources and provides a reasonable insight into the way Ancient Mesopotamians thought. His discussion of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Old Babylonian Empire, and the Ur III period are highlights, and the best that this reviewer has seen—as is his coverage of Enheduana, Sargon I’s daughter and the world’s first poetess, a topic studiously ignored by previous scholarly publications in the field. While this book is aimed at the general reader, there are enough previously unexplored tidbits and insights to excite even the most jaded Assyriologist. Definitely fills some gaps in the field. Most highly recommended.