I really enjoyed this book since I enjoy Shakespeare. I felt that Shapiro did a fine job connecting the plays of 1599 to the historical context surrounding their writing and performance. The CD is also very easy to listen to although Shapiro is clearly a scholar and not a public speaker. Sometimes I find some historical books a little too densely packed with facts so that you can't keep everything straight, but this was perfect (at least for me).
James Shapiro, aprofessor at Columbia University in New York, is the author of "Rival Playwrights, Shakespeare and the Jews, " and "Oberammergau".