A readable and entertaining overview of our current state of knowledge about Pompeii, one of the the Roman towns buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79A.D. Beard does a particularly fine job of explaining to non-specialists how our views have changed as we have learned more about Pompeii and as our interests and attitudes have changed over time. This is a fine history of History, then, but the focus remains on our surprisingly-detailed knowledge of this Roman town, and the even more surprising gaps in our knowledge.