I hadn’t really heard of the Very Short Introduction books before starting graduate school. But–oddly enough–I’ve had three of them as assigned reading since then. (You’d think at the graduate level that would be a little too ‘entry level,’ y’know?)
Two of the three of them were quite good. (And in 1177 BC, Eric Cline said that he was writing his VSI on the Trojan War at the same time, and containing much of the same information, so I think I can safely say that that one’s good, too.)
However…then there was the one on the French Revolution. The author did all he could, but that subject is just too massively complex to sum up in 100 tiny pages. I kept coming on passages where I was like “what the…?” and “who the heck are they and why are they getting killed?”
Fortunately, the other book we had to read was much more detailed, so I mostly understand now. Mostly. Well enough to write my paper for this week, anyway. That’s what matters, right?