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Roger Michael Kean spent his childhood in Nigeria, West Africa then survived (just) a British boarding school. He studied fine art and film technique (he edited TV sports films for a decade) before accidentally dropping into magazine and, eventually, book publishing. After the African experience, he has travelled widely for exploration as well as relaxation. In the mid-1980s, he was co-founder of a magazine publishing company which launched some of Britain’s most successful computer games periodicals, including CRASH and ZZAP!64. Since then he has edited books on subjects ranging from computer games, popular music, sports and history, including "The Complete Chronicle of the Emperors of Rome", with links to the original illustrations at the Recklessbooks.co.uk website. In addition to the titles shown here, Kean has also written, under the name of Zack, his artist-partner, the paperback "Boys of Vice City" and "Boys of Disco City", available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon. The third in the series, "Boys of Two Cities" is out in November 2012.
on July 26, 2010 :
I'm busy reading Vol. 1, and having skimmed through Book 2, I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the following reviews I found on the web for the printed version. By the way, stunning illustration pages full of the emperors et al, and furthermore swathes of colour downloadable maps are accessible through strategically placed links!
If you want a slightly different and more visual take on a fascinating subject, this book is a must!
J. Doherty (Amazon.com)
This book gives great descriptions of each Emperor, (starting with Augustus, and actually going as far as the early Byzantine Period with Justinian) drawing on every source imaginable. It covers every period, a lot of which have very little written about them elsewhere (such as the Third Century). Every imaginable Emperor is in: usurpers, the Emperors of the Gallic Empire; the book even covers the lives of some rulers who were not Emperors, such as the Gothic kings of Italy and leaders of the later Roman Republic.
But what really a attracted me to this book were the wonderful pictures. There are pictures of every emperor, pictures from statues, coins, paintings, and sometimes all of the above. The coins were used so often that I'd recommend anyone with an interest in Roman coins to just look at the pictures. The maps are also great: there are lots of maps, which are always helpful when dealing with places that have changed a lot in two thousand years. Everything is in color and beautiful. One thing that really struck me about the book is that it has the wealth of pictures and the accessibility one might find in book targeted to a younger audience, but the sophistication and enormous amount of detailed information one might expect from a professor of classics. It’s the best of both worlds.
Christopher Bonura (Amazon.com)
Aficionados of the trials, tribulations, big personalities, and exploits of ancient Rome will look hard to find a more definitive but accessible reference guide to this compelling time in global history. The Complete Chronicle of the Emperors of Rome covers not only background history, but also the politics of the time, as well as military and economic strategies, and their social impact. It is an exhaustive coverage of the world’s most powerful and influential empire, and would be at home on the book shelf of anyone studying – or simply interested in – ancient Rome.
Film-maker, journalist Roger Michael Kean has edited historical reference books for many years. Here, his approach is sober, scholarly, and methodical. This chronicle is less about scandal and titillation and more for those with a bent for the encyclopedic and, indeed, accurate.
(reviewed the day of purchase)