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The Peloponnesian War Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 27, 2004
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course one expects detailed descriptions of the basis of the conflict, the nature of battles, and the personalities of the leaders involved, and these expectations are certainly met, throughout all the arenas of the war. Kagan has deliberately not drawn parallels between this, the first well-documented war effort, and all the others that came after it.Read more ›
The Peloponnesian War reminds many of the major conflicts of the 20th century, and some of those comparisons are quite illuminating. For example, the showdown between the two "superpowers" of the era, Athens and Sparta, reminds many of the Cold War, and there are indeed many intriguing similarities. Professor Kagan, who has written about such comparisons at length (see "On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace"), understands these parallels as clearly as anyone. But focusing on these parallels to make distant events appear "relevant" is, to him, unnecessary. His view, which I share, is that the Peloponnesian War does not need to be "made relevant:" it IS relevant, because of the unchanging character of human nature and human problems. If you expect this book to be filled with statements like "President Bush is just like Pericles because..." you will be disappointed. What you will get, however, is much more valuable.Read more ›
This one book treatment of the Peloponnesian War proves to be superbly well written for almost any reader. Unlike his four volume series which was academically rich and complex, this one book treatment scaled down the narrative into an easy to read, easy to understand and yet complete enough to make any reader understand what, how and why of the Peloponnesian War. Added by nice maps, almost anyone can tackle this book and come out wiser on the subject. The author's ability to reduced the complex nature of this conflict into an easier format is a clear example of his knowledge and total command of the subject matter.
This book come highly recommended for anyone who have an initial interest on the matter and even for experienced readers as well.
On the other hand, there are two related downsides to the book. First, in a text aimed at an audience unfamiliar with ancient Greece, it does a surprisingly poor job of describing anything BUT the war. In addition to the maps, Kagan could usefully have sprinkled short "box texts" throughout to describe items of interest such as the culture and architecture of the Greeks, their lifestyles, food, population, and economy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the book that helps formulate your understanding the events leading to the Peloponnesian war. Great.Published 3 months ago by coolwasabi
The quintessential book on the Peloponnesian War. Easy read for such detailed history, probably the best place to start if you want to begin serious study of the war or if you... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Benjamin Walker
This book is amazing. The story underlying it is amazing, and the writing is superb - clear, flowing, and with appropriate detail and connections drawn. Read morePublished 21 months ago by F. Schaaf