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On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War [Kindle Edition]

Thucydides , Paul Woodruff
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

• Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Paul Woodruff.

Designed for students with little or no background in ancient Greek language and culture, this collection of extracts from The History of the Peloponnesian War includes those passages that shed most light on Thucydides' political theory--famous as well as important but lesser-known pieces frequently overlooked by nonspecialists. Newly translated into spare, vigorous English, and situated within a connective narrative framework, Woodruff's selections will be of special interest to instructors in political thoery and Greek civilization. Includes mapes, notes, and a glossary.

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek

About the Author

Thucydides; Translated by Paul Woodruff

Product Details

  • File Size: 766 KB
  • Print Length: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co. (December 21, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,060 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Distillation of Thucydides' Genius October 4, 2003
By A Customer
I can't think of another abridgment of a classic more after my own heart. I am a passionate believer in reading all of Thucydides, but this book is still the ideal way to get to know what is great about the historian. (And, as our democracy is at war & struggles with imperial entanglements, Thuc. is more relevant than ever.)
Basically, Woodruff has an unerring instinct for where Thucydides (not a mere fact-compiler, but one of antiquity's great thinkers) is at his sizzling & profound best. The introduction is a marvelous piece of criticism and analysis: in merely 24 pp. it acquaints the reader with Thucydides' important ideas. The idea of this book is to give you 185 pp. to read cover-to-cover (if not in a single sitting!--what are you waiting for?--do it, and blow your mind). Woodruff's connecting summaries & brief introductory comments to each excerpt make sure that readers will experience the whole coherently.
My one quibble is that I'd like to have the defeat of the Sicilian Expedition & its aftermath in all its gruesome detail, but this would have almost doubled the size of the book and defeated the purposes I've praised above. For a complete translation, try Lattimore (also pub. by Hackett)--or, if 17th c. English doesn't bother you, Hobbes' translation is a real treat to savor.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy; Tragic History; and Greek Geopolitics June 25, 2004
I agree with the first reviewer: this book is a great condensation of Thucydides' work. The book is editted to retain all of Thucydides' great insights into human nature, power, and politics, but summarized in a way where all of the essential details of the story are left in place.
With its sweeping description of events in various areas of the Greece, and its dramatic portrayal of historic figures: the book works as a great description of the nature of politics, democracy and war, and at the same time an engaging study of leadership, and the men who were perported to be great during these times.
Daniel Clausen
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Although, like one of the other reviewers on this page, I too am not fond of abridgments, Paul Woodruff's "Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature" is an excellent choice for any class on ancient civilization, political theory, or rhetoric [e.g.], in which a number of other readings must be assigned [e.g., from tragedy, comedy, philosophy, depending on the nature of the course].

In clear concise prose, Mr. Woodruff, whose translation aims to clarify any obscurities in the Greek original, focuses on the Athenian historian's "abstract concepts . . . justice, power, human nature, and fear" [viii]--motifs that proliferate the text. Striving to engage the contemporary student, Mr. Woodruff has captured the essence of Thucydides: the historian's analysis of the situation leading to the war; Thucydides' recreations of Pericles' war- and funeral orations as well as those of other politicians including Cleon; the historian's searing accounts of the plague and the Corcyrean revolt; the Plataean and Mytilenian debates; the fruitless "dialogue" between the Athenians and the Melians; the disastrous Sicilian expedition and its aftermath. Mr. Woodruff also writes a splendid introduction, explicating the major issues; he provides footnotes; a bibliography; a welcome glossary of Greek and historically significant terms; maps; and an index.

Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book For The Non-native English Speakers March 27, 2011
By Jacob
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I guess there is no need to write about Thucydides extraordinary talent on explaining the underlying causes of war and his ability to accurately reflect the human nature but as a non native english speaker I should mention that Paul Woodruff's translations and composition of the ancient greek texts are so good and easy to understand for the reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Review for Kindle edition August 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Be ware that the Kindle version of this book is broken .. My impression is that the publisher used an automated software to convert a scanned book to Kindle without any quality control at all .. It is unreadable .. Buy the print version!

It's a great read but the Kindle version deserves no stars at all ...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another good publisher mishandles the Kindle format. February 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Hackett's editors can't possibly have read over their formatting of this excellent text for Kindle. In the sample, the text jumps to a new line before and after every italicized or bolded word. It's time for serious publishers like Hackett to get serious about the electronic format. It's here to stay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT Kindle Friendly January 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For some reason, this book was not transcribed very well to Kindle format. Certain words are broken out oddly in the text, and the flow of the book is therefore disrupted. I tried to fix it by playing around with the font and size settings, but it didn't work. You can see this problem in the online Amazon preview, but I assumed that this would not be the case once I purchased version. I was incorrect. If you would like this book, and want it to be an easier read, buy the hard-copy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This was just what I wanted. It had some writing in it but not to where it was a problem.
Published 5 months ago by Roxanne and Bella
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, just sucks on the kindle
The book is great nothing wrong with that. Just on the kindle version it doesn't have page numbers so it is very frustrating.
Published 6 months ago by Danielle Barger
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites
I had to read this for Humn and at first I did not really get into it, but after I kept reading, I found myself loving this book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
The package arrived on time and as described. The book is needed for University for my kids that are students.
Published 16 months ago by John W Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor formatting, would not recommend.
No indentations, random numbers in the middle of the page, all in all poorly formatted, I would not recommend this to anyone trying to read Woodruff's version of the Thucydides... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jake Pasanen
5.0 out of 5 stars Human nature
This book is great. I recommend this book. I got this book for my political but as I was reading the assigned pages I started to really enjoy it. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ty
5.0 out of 5 stars On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: The Essence of Thucydides'...
A good read for a trip. It takes you away from your uncomfortable plane seat or who is next to you.
Published on January 17, 2011 by Czech
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