Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization
by Lars Brownworth
Brownworth tells the story of the forgotten Byzantine Empire, and its surprising role in shaping Western civilization. Although Rome fell in 476 AD, The Romans in the eastern half of the empire flourished for another 1000 years. Brownworth describes how the empire sheltered the west from Islam and the lessons it holds for modern societies. An entertaining story of emperors, generals and religious patriarchs both good and bad.
A very readable account of what we call the Byzantine Empire (they would have called themselves Romans). The story is filled with intermittent misrule, brutality and treachery, as well as military genius and political acumen. Brownworth has a podcast called 12 Byzantine rulers and a website www.losttothewest.com.