Amazons by John Man is an interesting book which goes through the fact and fiction of Amazons and other female warriors through history. He discusses what has been found to support any theories of Amazonian women, what conclusions science and archaeology draws and which ones myths and stories have crafted.
The writing is slightly informal and quite scathing at times, especially when discussing theories and people who believed the Amazons to be real that the writer sees as gullible and silly. This I feel is a little harsh as I was one of the people who had always wondered if these women were at least based on facts.
The blurb was slightly misleading as it made me believe that I would be getting factual information and confirmed evidence that the Amazons did actually exist as the Ancient Greeks told. But, once I got over this moment of disappointment, I began to find the comments of the archaeological finds to be quite interesting as, though a full tribe of only women may not have existed explicitly, female warriors were still prevalent in some ancient tribes and communities.
Pressing on through some more of these moments of unfair judgement, the book progresses through the years and the information on historical and modern ‘Amazon-esque’ groups is rather fascinating, such as the past African female warriors and the more recent Russian Night Witches.
The book finishes off with the founding of one of the most famous modern Amazons, Wonder Woman and, learning about her creation – and creator – was an illuminating read and one that I didn’t see panning out the way it did.
In conclusion, I did enjoy the book but I believe that John Man needs to give historical (and more modern) communities who believed in these Warrior Women a bit of slack for clinging onto centuries of misinformation and the wishful thinking of their dreams.