I am always amazed at people who don't seem to enjoy or understand the relevance of history. Trying to understand the present without a knowledge of the past is like trying to figure out what's wrong with a clock by examining its face. It's like being a leaf that doesn't know it's part of a tree. In Tuchman's comprehensive look at 14th century Europe, we see the beginnings of our modern market economy, the notion of romantic love, trade unions, urbanization, nationalism, anti-semitism (portents of the Holocaust), ideas of chivalry in warfare being torn down by advances in technology, and on and on. I found this book to be endlessly fascinating, told in a lively and engaging manner. If you don't think civilization has made much progress, read this book. It will give you a new perspective on just how far we've come--despite the sometimes eerie similarities.