Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$5.93
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by AZ_Fulfillment
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: [Solid Condition Hardcover. Cover may have wear and possible small tears. May contain writing/markings. May be ex-library copy. Expedited Shipping Available]
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 2, 2010

15 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 2, 2010
$9.55 $5.93

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Real West by David Fisher
New U.S. History Books
Browse new selections in U.S. history, from the American Revolution to World War II. Learn more | See related books

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In an exceptionally well-written account of the first 10 years of the Peloponnesian War (431–421 B.C.E.), University of Virginia historian Lendon (Soldiers and Ghosts) brings the Greek city-states to life. Crediting Thucydides with the humanizing of military history, Lendon emphasizes the extraordinary importance of worth or glory to the typical Greek and casts the long, bloody conflict between Athens and Sparta in the light of the concepts of honor and hubris. Political differences, characterized by the "democracy" of Athens and her sea-borne commercial supremacy in Attica, and by the stern militarism of Sparta, which ensured her dominance in Laconia and the Peloponnesian peninsula, inevitably resulted in war. In dramatic fashion, battles of conquest were waged from Boeotia to the Gulf of Corinth, and to Laconia and Attica themselves. Mutual exhaustion and disillusionment with allies led to a remarkable peace treaty that was soon broken. An excellent story, this account is further strengthened by the frequent use of maps and illustrations. But more information on the social and economic realities of the time would have been helpful. Illus. (Nov.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

Jeremy Black, author of War: A Short History
“Honor and shaming are key themes in Lendon’s accomplished account of the first ten years of the Peloponnesian War. A major work of history, this well-written study provides important insights on the classical world that Lendon ably extents to contemporary international relations.”

Edward N. Luttwak, author of The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire
“J.E. Lendon must disagree with Thucydides, the greatest of historians, to tell his own dramatic story of the Ten Years’ War while still relying on him for his facts. J.E. Lendon’s learned enthusiasm pulls it off—and many a reader will relish this book.”

Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University
“J.E. Lendon’s polemology of ancient Greece recognizes no bounds—or equals. Honor is a major theme of his new finely researched and inimitably styled analysis of the Ten Years’ War (431-421 BCE) fought between Sparta and Athens and their respective allies, and honor is due to its never less than engaging author.”\
 
Barry Strauss, author of The Spartacus War and Professor of History at Cornell University
“Ancient military history is hot these days. Song of Wrath is the latest book to show the value of a great story, told with skill by a talented historian and gifted writer armed with a powerful idea. It is learned, readable, and passionate.”
Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University and author of Thucydides: The Reinvention of History
“J.E. Lendon has written a lively, learned and fascinating account and interpretation of the coming of the Peloponnesian War and the first ten years of the fighting.  In Song of Wrath he explains the course of events as emerging chiefly from the values of the ancient Greeks, who cherished rank, honor and vengeance more than is recognized by modern experts in international relations and war.”
 
Tom Holland, author of Rubicon
“Beautifully written and unfailingly informative: scholarship has rarely conveyed such a sense of visceral excitement.”
 
Adrian Goldsworthy, author of Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra
“Well written and insightful. In Song of Wrath, J.E. Lendon discusses not simply how the Athenians and Spartans fought, but how they thought. This book demonstrates that a good story can also be good history.”
 
Dennis Showalter, Professor of History at Colorado College
“This provocative and persuasive analysis of the Peloponnesian War’s first ten years shifts focus from the ‘realist’ aspects of the conflict’s causes and conduct. Lendon stresses instead the centrality of honor, time, manifested by reciprocal acts of destruction and revenge. Humiliation, not conquest, was the primary war aim—an aim so vague it made expanding the war easier than making peace.”
 
Publishers Weekly
“In an exceptionally well-written account of the first 10 years of the Peloponnesian War (431–421 B.C.E.), University of Virginia historian Lendon brings the Greek city-states to life. Crediting Thucydides with the humanizing of military history, Lendon emphasizes the extraordinary importance of worth or glory to the typical Greek and casts the long, bloody conflict between Athens and Sparta in the light of the concepts of honor and hubris.”
 
Library Journal
“Weaving together cultural and military history, Lendon details the events of the Peloponnesian War’s first decade (431-421 B.C.E.) with language that is (as was his intention) more evocative of Herodotus’s epic-poetical style than the dryer intellectual approach of Thucydides.”
 
The Greek Star
“A fast-paced military history that places readers in the heart of battle, Song of Wrath is essential reading for anyone interested in one of the momentous wars in world history.”
 
The Hellenic Voice
“Historian J.E. Lendon presents a tale of pitched battles by land and sea, sieges, sacks, raids, and deeds of cruelty and guile – along with courageous acts of mercy, surprising charity, austere restraint, and arrogant resistance. Recounting the rise of democratic Athens to great-power status, and the resulting fury of authoritarian Sparta, Greece’s traditional leader, Lendon portrays the causes and strategy of the war as a duel over national honor, a series of acts of revenge.”
 
TucsonCitizen.com
“This is a panoramic narrative that spans the epoch from the Persian Wars in 479 BC to the resolution of the Ten Years War in 421 BC. The diplomatic maneuvers, big-picture strategies, and even the bloodshed on the battlefield itself are all revealed to bring into focus this blood chapter in Greek history.”

 

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465015069
  • ASIN: B0057DC3QE
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,762,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
93%
4 star
0%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 15 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on December 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Once in a while you encounter an extraordinary book that truly affects the way you look at the world. J.E. Lendon's "Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins" is such a book.

Before reading "Song of Wrath" I thought I knew a fair amount about the Peloponnesian War. Kagan's tremendous four-volume history, Hanson's "A War Like No Other", and "The Landmark Thucydides" all have permanent places on my too-crowded bookshelves. But Lendon's new volume has revolutionized my understanding of events. He argues strongly and persuasively that the war had its origins in a very Greek competition for status, the perceived ranking of city-states against one another. And that most of the campaigns of that war, particularly those of the "Archidamian War" - the first ten years of the Peloponnesian War - were primarily dictated by the desire to impact status rather than directly erode the enemy's power to wage war effectively. Suddenly, events are illuminated in an intensely revealing light, a light not without relevance to world events long after the age of the hoplites.

Moreover, Lendon presents his detailed analysis in a witty narrative, not infrequently with a wryly cocked eyebrow. And he has a gift for vivid imagery to really drive home his points. "Song of Wrath" is far from the stereotypical dry academic study one might expect from a Professor of History. Kudos both to Dr. Lendon and to his editor who understood the value of such writing.

If anyone has any interest at all in the Peloponnesian War, then "Song of Wrath" must be read. Whether or not the reader comes away wholly convinced of Lendon's arguments, understanding of what happened back in the fifth century BC cannot help being enhanced.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Kehler on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've read the author's other books, and if anything this one is more interesting and engrossing than the previous two. Lendon's thesis is that psycho-social -- for lack of a better expression -- factors like "worth", ranking, honour, status, "face" and esteem, etc., played a more central role in motivating agents to act in the classical Greek (and Roman) world than we typically acknowledge. Moreover, he holds that even today, these factors motivate agents and states, as well as "aggrieved" non-state actors, more than we frequently care to realize. Thucydides' treatment of the opening chapter of the great Athenian-Spartan wars is tackled well by Lendon who argues that Thucydides' infamous argument that the Spartans went to war because they feared the dynamic Athenians' power is wrong or at least incomplete. Rather, to understand the origins of the conflict, we must look at such "simple" -- and, incidentally, favoured in antiquity -- explanations as revenge, competition for honour-based esteem, martial primacy, and jockeying over rank. In the course of treating this material, Lendon gives the reader a terrific tour of ancient Greek culture and cultural practices, as well as an exciting overview of the 5th century.

He writes exceptionally clearly and deftly, explaining nicely along the way such key Greek concepts as hubris, tim' (honour) and metis, The book is most entertaining to amateur/armchair historians like myself. Whole swatches of Greek history become clearer, now that some of the motivations of Greek agents are explained. Greek history -- particularly warfare and military history -- comes to resemble Greek tragedy, in that "bloody" and "bloody-minded" motives are central, rather than just calculative or bloodless ones. Very highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Cicalese on May 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay you ancient Greeks freaks, we have a new star! J.E. Lendon's Song of Wrath is simply excellent! I've read 'em all: Kagan, Hanson, Cartledge, Holland, ancient, old and new authors; anything and everything about ancient Greece, I've read it! I can say, without reservation, that Lendon is one of our top historians on things ancient in the Roman and Greek worlds. He is as thoughtful as any author, doesn't drag on with some topics (think Hanson here), isn't over the top with his story telling (wink, wink, Mr. Holland), but combines beautiful story-telling with a deep understanding of his topic. You may not fully agree with his arguments (I personally think that he places way too much emphasis on the the idea of "rank" as to why the war of Spartan aggression dragged on for so long), but his arguments are well worth serious consideration. Read this book!!!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barry Bedrick on June 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Lendon's book on the first ten years of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta is beautifully written and carefully and convincingly argued. I recommend it without reservation.

His hypothesis, that the war was fought not, as Thucydides would have it, because of Sparta's fear of Athens' growing power, but rather over rank, i.e. how the Greeks at large were to perceive the relative standing of the combatants, seems to have great explanatory power, but I'm unqualified to judge its merits. What I can say is that, taken only as a work of narrative history for the general reader, the book is a great success. That it is also a treatise dealing with issues of interest to scholars, and that those parts of the book were at least as interesting to this non-scholar as the narrative of the war, is greatly to Prof. Lendon's credit. One need not be a classicist to follow and appreciate the argument.

I found the style delightful. It is a bit formal, rich with ironies and vivid descriptions, always clear and compelling. An almost random sample gives the flavor. Speaking of an Athenian general who lost his life in Ionia, Prof. Lendon says: "Lysicles' sojourn in Hades under the reproachful glare of Pericles (he had taken up with Pericles' mistress after the latter's death) may have been lightened by better news from other felled Athenians who would stagger off Charon's boat in years to come ...."

The author and the publisher deserve great praise for the form of the book. The accompanying apparatus--glossaries of people, places, and things, chronologies, discussion of sources, suggestions for further readings, etc.--is exemplary.

Maps are profuse. Almost every account of an event is within a few pages, at most, of a relevant map.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews