Charles Pellegrino 2005. Ghosts of Vesuvius. A new look at the last days of Pompeii, how towers fall, and other strange connections. New York: Harper Perennial. 489 pp.

November 2015 update:

Impressed when I first read this (at the time of the Pompei exhibition visiting Museum Victoria). Especially memorable for documenting the state of technology reached in Pompei and Herculaneum at the time of their destruction. The implication is that humanity was set back to the extent that it took ~2,000 years for civilisation to redevelop what was lost. Others have put similar view in other contexts, including David Deutsch in The Beginning of Infinity.

Not so impressed now that I learn that Charles Pellegrino falsely tried to claim he had a PhD from Victoria University, Wellington. I won’t feel confident in the facts of Ghosts of Vesuvius until I can check some against original sources. No time for that right now…