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Alexander the Great: Lessons from History's Undefeated General (World Generals (Palgrave MacMillan)) Hardcover – April 13, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Alexander the Great:

"Hugely experienced military historian Bill Yenne has added yet another glittering feather to his cap with this impeccably source-based account of the military Midas of the ancient world. One can only agree with General Wesley K. Clark that Alexander's legacy is enduringly informative."--Paul Cartledge, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University and author of Alexander the Great

“An excellent survey of Alexander's exploits and a vivid reminder that the geopolitical landscape hasn't changed that much over the millennia."—John Negroponte, Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in International Affairs at Yale University

“In Alexander the Great, as in all his many books, Bill Yenne displays his talent for succinctly painting the big picture with a series of fascinating details that make ancient history come alive. Only an author of his experience and capability could render the amazing story of Alexander the Great with such accuracy and feeling. Yenne grabs the reader on page one and doesn’t let go until the book is ended with an intriguing chapter on what might have been if Alexander’s life had not been cut short. This book will make us yearn for the return of a leader like Alexander to resolve our current wars in the Middle East.”--Walter Boyne, Colonel USAF (Ret.) and Former Director of the National Air & Space Museum
 
"Powerful, compelling and rich in detail, Bill Yenne's Alexander the Great tells the remarkable story of a military leader unequaled in his time and perhaps unequaled in recorded history. In just a few short years Alexander was able to conquer the known world, utilizing an army that mirrored its leader; fast, dependable, tactically skilled and strategically sound. The fact is that the army of Alexander was a lethal force, unstoppable and undefeated on the battlefield. Yenne, an accomplished historian and master storyteller, leads the reader through the world of Alexander, explaining and exploring the logistics and complexities of the ancient battlefield. Since the time of Alexander every major military commander and school of military arts has studied the campaigns of famous leaders. While the names of those who fought and succeeded through military history are recognizable and accomplished, only one is called Alexander the Great. We can thank Bill Yenne for telling us why."--Brian Sobel, author of The Fighting Pattons

About the Author

Bill Yenne is the author of over three dozen books on military and historical topics, including his critically-acclaimed biography of Sitting Bull. He was a contributor to encyclopedias of both world wars, and is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. He also co-authored a book with Air Force commander General Curtis E. LeMay. He lives in San Francisco, CA, and on the web at www.BillYenne.com.General Wesley K. Clark (ret.) served in the United States Army for thirty-four years and rose to the rank of four-star general as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He is the author of A Time to Lead, as well as the best selling books Waging Modern War and Winning Modern Wars. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Product Details

  • Series: World Generals (Palgrave MacMillan)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; First Edition edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230619150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230619159
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen books on historical topics, as well as several novels. He has contributed to encyclopedias of both world wars, and has been featured in several documentaries which have aired on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the Smithsonian Channel and ARD German Television. The "Wall Street Journal" notes that Yenne writes "with a cinematic vividness."

General Wesley Clark, US Army (Ret), former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, called Yenne's recent biography of Alexander the Great, the "best yet." Of his biography of Julius Caesar, Philip Delves Broughton wrote in the "Wall Street Journal" that "Yenne is excellent at describing Caesar in battle, mingling tactics and strategy with the smells and sounds of war." The New Yorker wrote of Sitting Bull, Yenne's biography of the great Lakota leader, that it "excels as a study in leadership." This book was named to the number 14 spot in Amazon's "100 Best Books of the Year" when it was released.

Meanwhile, Yenne's dual biography of Dick Bong and Tommy McGuire, Aces High: The Heroic Story of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of World War II was described by pilot and best-selling author Dan Roam as "the greatest flying story of all time."

Yenne has also written extensively about the history of beer and brewing. His "Guinness: The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint," was listed among the top business books of the year by "Condé Nast Portfolio Magazine," while the same publication rated the book as its top pick for "Cocktail Conversation."

Yenne's novels have included the "Bladen Cole" Westerns; an alternate history about General George Patton entitled "A Damned Fine War;" and the "Raptor Force" trilogy, an action-adventure series.

Bill Yenne lives in San Francisco, California, and on the web at www.BillYenne.com

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 6 customer reviews
Much of the story took me completely by surprise.
David Marshall
As Yenne shows us, Alexander was "great" in many ways besides being a great "quaterback."
Lance B. Hillsinger
A great read for the casual reader as well as the military buff.
D. W. Bartee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lance B. Hillsinger on May 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Bill Yenne's "Alexander the Great" is part of the "The World Generals Series". Like other books in the series, Alexander The Great, is written in a straightforward, chronological manner. There is little speculation or conjecture by the author. When, ancient sources differ, Yenne says something, Plutarch said it happend "this way" but Nicomedia said it happened "this other way."

However, what impressed this reviewer was not with how much ancient sources differed, but how similar was their telling of the story. For instance, all sources seem to agree as to the name of Alexander's favorite horse, when entered Babylon, how far he marched his army and so on.

In his telling of the story of Alexander, Yenne makes comparaions between Alexanders' situation to events in the modern era. These comparasions make the dry facts (such as the order of battle) become more interesting and relevant.

To underscore releveance to the modern era, Yenne's Alexander the Great comes with a short introdution by General Wesley Clark. Clark wants the reader to be see how Alexander was great a "quaterback". How he marshalled his forces. How he was able to read "defenses." How, like a great quaterback, he was able to use intution to make the most of a critical siutation.

However, as Yenne shows us, Alexander The Great was much more than a "quaterback." Unlike many other ancient, and even modern, generals, Alexander wasn't afraid to be a mentor to his subordiantes. He was also an accomplished engineer; he able to find unique technical solutions to challenging tactical sitautions. He was also quite a diplomat; he was able to turn enemies into allies. Further, he was way ahead of his time culturally. Unlike other conquerors, he genuinely appreciated customs not his own.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. W. Bartee on January 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was one I found it difficult to put the book down. One of the best of the series. The author does an amazing job of captivating the reader on a wonderful crusade depicting the short life of this amazing general. The book is well researched with excellent comparisons to other historical military events during the past century. You can clearly visualize the events unfolding on the battlefields and the genius behind the man. It was not so much that Alexander was a great soldier but a brilliant politician and administrator. These facts are so very critical yet often overlooked. A great read for the casual reader as well as the military buff. Cheers to this author!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The memory of Alexander the Great is still alive and well in Modern Greece. There is a popular saying, O Megas Alexandros zei kai vasilevei, translated as “Alexander lives and rules,” which is still spoken in Greece to this day. Such is the modern memory of Alexander.

Much is made in this book of how Alexander ruled, to date, the largest empire and was never defeated in battle. True enough. The lessons derived from his life and manner of leadership still is able to inform modern life.

This book concentrates on the military prowess of Alexander the Great. It is derived primarily from accounts given in Plutarch and Xenophon and other ancient sources.

Admitted the book does not deal with the political savvy possessed by Alexander the Great. In every land he conquered he encouraged his soldiers and officers to intermarry with the local population. The conquered lands thereby became centers of Greek culture and learning. He was not concerned with mere military conquest but a true investment into the future. Alexander did not limit his activities for short-term military goals but looked ahead to the future. In this respect this is a lesson that bears repeating.

The book touches upon these political aspects but does not dwell on them, emphasizing the military side of Alexander.

For those looking for the military genius of Alexander this book is more than adequate.

O Megas Alexandros Zei kai vasilevei!
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Alexander the Great: Lessons from History's Undefeated General (World Generals (Palgrave MacMillan))
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