Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Alexander the Great Paperback – October 18, 2011
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
—Tom Holland, The Wall Street Journal
"A well-written, chronological narrative that allows Alexander’s remarkable career and achievements to speak for themselves. . . . Readers will appreciate this fine account of a man truly deserving of the title 'Great.'"
"Fast-paced and dramatic, much like Alexander himself, this is a splendid introduction into one of the most dramatic true stories of history."
—Adrian Goldsworthy, author of Antony and Cleopatra
“Lean, learned, and marked by good judgment on every page, Alexander the Great is also a roaring good yarn. Philip Freeman has the eye of someone who has walked in Alexander’s footsteps, and he writes with grace and wisdom.”
—Barry Strauss, author of The Spartacus War and professor of history, Cornell University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Aristotle was his tutor. Alexander himself had mastered such works as Homer's epic poems, Euripides, and Herodotus. He made it a point to carefully study anything that might help him prevail. He eagerly tapped the minds of the many experts he brought with him. He had a brilliant grasp of human nature.
Alexander's soldiers, particularly his fellow Macedonians, adored him and would fight to the death for him. Unlike Achilles, he was not one to sit and pout in his tent as his soldiers died. His soldiers had often seen him lead cavalry charges at massive enemy forces, scale walls in the face of spears and arrows, kill scores of hostile soldiers on the battlefield, and suffer alongside his soldiers from exhaustion, thirst, and extremes of heat and cold. He endured the crossing of mountains, deserts, and raging rivers. He led his armies in an incredible twelve-year campaign that extended his rule from Macedonia and Greece to include the vast Persian empire and regions far beyond. He came to control, after fierce fighting, a substantial portion of India.
Freeman describes many epic battles in a highly readable manner. No dry battle tactics here.Read more ›
Apart from telling the story of Alexander's life well, Freeman does a good job of noting the inconsistencies among the ancient sources and acknowledging that some of that record consists of myth and politically expedient legends. Also, his insights concerning Alexander's motives and character are quite persuasive. And I think he is spot on when he suggests that Alexander didn't simply use religion to advance his political and military objectives; rather, he actually believed the gods were with him.
One shortcoming of the book is the absence of any battle maps. For some of the key military engagements, it would have been nice to have had a couple of drawings showing the deployment of forces and the topography of the battlefield. (For those who want this additional level of detail, I recommend the recently published "The Landmark Arrian." It is exceptional.)
In sum, while I still believe Lane Fox's biography is a bit more scholarly and thorough, you can't beat Freeman's effort for the shear entertainment value. And if you like this book, then pick up Freeman's biography of Julius Caesar. It was quite good.
There's some question whether Alexander had something to do with the death of his father. Philip was murdered by one of his guards, a former lover, and prior to his death Alexander was somewhat estranged from his father. He also plotted the deaths of many of his generals who had been loyal to his father. Parmenion, Alexander's chief general at the Battles of Issus and Gaugamela, was among that number, and old Antipater who had been left in charge in Greece during Alexander's push into Persia was on the chopping block when Alexander died. He was completely ruthless on the field of battle as well. If a tribe resisted Alexander's takeover, they were all massacred, including women and children.
That's not to say that Alexander did not have a compassionate side. In one instance a soldier who mistakenly sat on Alexander's throne was forgiven. Alexander also suffered sincere remorse after killing a childhood friend in a fit of temper after the man questioned his leadership. Alexander also treated Darius's family with respect after the Battle of Gaugamela.
I was aware of Alexander's tactical prowess at Issus but it was his refusal to accept defeat that was most impressive. There's an episode where his men were slaughtered as they tried to move through a narrow pass just before Persepolis. He found a goatherd who knew of a trail around the pass, but the goatherd insisted an army couldn't make it around. Alexander's army waded through snow up to their chests and came at the Persians from the rear.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a well made biography about one of the most ambitious men that ever lived.
It starts with Alexander the great's father who was a great man in his own right (a lot of... Read more
The book isn't so much focused on the facts, I'll say that much. However, the book does an almost unprecidentedly satisfying job of telling the story of Alexander The Great. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Jeffery Muter
I like reading history books written in proper documentation form, as opposed to story form. I like the footnotes so I can see what historian is referenced. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wade Kinsey
Excellent book. I am looking forward to other biographies by Philip Freeman. This book has told a great account of Alexander the Great.Published 1 month ago by Timothy Wessel
I found it quite interesting at first but couldn't finish it.Published 2 months ago by Bruce Sansom
Ladino, Sephardic language!
It is an ancient language you.
And this is not even a verse.
You migration triptych.
Govorimy, you are great. Read more
Amazing! Alexander was a force of nature. A tribute to mans ability to change the world in which he finds himself within.Published 3 months ago by John W Hancock