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"Greatly impressed by Golden's work on two general counts. First, there's his ability to make clear for the non-specialist the thought-processes of his discipline... Second, the range of his reference to various other fields, to modern literature and history, to the diversity of cultural experience and the universals of human existence."

"Mark Golden has produced a superb book, an important substantive and methodological contribution to the social history of ancient Athens and a model for comparable studies... That Golden raises empirical and methodological questions while at the same time significantly advancing study of this important subject is a tribute to the intellectual honesty and vitality of his book."

"This is not just a book of colourful description but one as well of vivid insight and lively debate—a debate, moreover, that is refreshingly free of ideological polemic and informed by a keen eye for the personal implications behind any social trend and of the individual psychology underlying the collective picture... Engaging and engrossing... A considerable achievement on the author's part."