Upon being offered the chance to try out their material, I chose Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes, a part of their BiographyIn60 series. I did not know much about him though I have noticed many references to him in some of my other reading and felt a curiosity to learn more about him.
Alexander's life is summed up in thirty pages. A skilled military leader, who conquered a great deal of territory, building on his father, Philip's, strong start. He could be quite ruthless in taking cities, but I was surprised at how many times he exercised mercy and allowed the peoples of the towns he conquered to live. It gives a high level overview of Alexander's life, relationships with his friends and family, and a good overview of the battles he fought. Even though it was just a summary, I really learned quite a bit about the man and will actually have a knowledgeable picture in my head now when I see him referenced in other books.
Before I invest time reading a big biography about someone I look at summaries of that person's life to see if it would be worth spending the time reading it. These little biographies offer a way to do that, and can wet one's appetite to learn more about their subjects. Perhaps the only thing that I think would add to the quick learning experience would be to have some maps in the book as well, my knowledge of ancient geography is not great, so it was hard to picture where certain battles were being fought, where specific groups of peoples lived or where the various countries were. But it was easy enough to look up the information I wanted on the internet.
I really was able to sit down and read the book in an hour (without rushing). Overall, I thought that this was a good overview and would recommend this series as an excellent way to get a high level overview of people and historical events in the space of about an hour. If you would like to sign up to receive updates from In60Learning (and even free book and audio book offers from them) you can subscribe here: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/349280?ref=snickerdoodle
Many thanks to the folks at in60learning for sending me a free PDF of this book to review (My review did not have to be favorable).
If you would like to purchase this book, or others in the series, you may find it on Amazon.com, available in Paperback and in Kindle formats.