I was rather unhappy that this book was not written to the teaching of the Orthodox Church.
It is precisely Orthodox who would like to know more about Byzantium.
At the end, Constantinople was, basically, a country consisting of only the city itself.
Of course, covering a thousand years of history in 165 pages also means that the the book onl This is a fairly short book with only 165 pages of actual content.
The layman wanting to know Byzantium political history in any real depth would do better to get John Julian Norwich's three-volume history of Byzantium beginning with BYZANTIUM: The Early Centuries.
However, one of the most frequent complaints against Norwich's books are that they focus almost entirely on the changing aristocracy and on foreign policy, and neglect the state of the commoners and Byzantium's cultural output. There are chapters on everyday life, learning and literature, Byzantine art, and the religious practices of the laity.
It has been valuable in that I learned things about the Byzantine Empire that I did not know previously.
For example, the "empire" wasn't beaten at the end by the encroaching Ottoman Turks, but multiple, independent states were picked off one by one.
For example, the first essay in this volume presents two compelling examples of how the Byzantine past was appropriated and manipulated to serve modern- Greek nationalistic narratives.
John Burke argues convincingly that Byzantium was equated to the Greek language and Orthodox faith.