File Size: 5224 KB
Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Random House (November 30, 2011)
Publication Date: November 30, 2011
My Amazon books concerning money: A new Return to Abundance, Publication 1: Money and happiness, abundance and prosperity, money and the unconscious thoughts: a mythological, psychological, historic, and family of origins look at money as well as its power , The majority of of us know Victor Davis Hanson from their pointed commentaries in Nationwide Review and many books on modern issues, but he started his amazing career as a classicist. The book presently under review, 'A War Such as No Other', deals with the fantastic civil war within just ancient Greece between authoritarian Sparta and democratic Athens from 431-404 BC, manufactured famous mostly through typically the modern account by Thucydides.
The Peloponnesian War has been a decades-long conflict, both epic and gruesome in its scale. As a new percentage of the particular populations, as much individuals died in this war since in World War We. An epic stand-off among a military dictatorship plus a radical democracy, typically the war offers evident classes for our present era. Athens saw itself since morally superior and richer, and commanded a enormous navy that firmly boosted its self-confidence; Sparta considered its opponent decadent plus politically indecisive. Athens' democratic decision-making throughout the conflict led to follies including the Sicilian Expedition and typically the occasional executions of the best military commanders right after a humiliating defeat -- neither of which helped the Athenian war hard work, to put it mildly. In addition to then there's the individual history of Alcibiades, typically the infamous Athenian commander that defected to Sparta mid-war. As such, this subject matter encompasses the best plus worst elements of our own flawed human nature.
The particular Peloponnesian War had all of the elements of ancient, yet also hints of modern day, warfare. Traditional hoplite challenges were certainly fought throughout the many years of the turmoil. However, the unwritten rule in Greek civilization of which conflicts between Greek peoples should be decided by a short fight among two professional armies by using an open battlefield on a new sunny afternoon, was swiftly trashed the window since the dispute escalated.
Shortly, Spartan armies besieged Athens, forcing the Athenians in order to retreat behind their town walls. The outbreak of an (unknown) infectious plus very deadly disease caused by this siege is extremely vividly detailed in Mister. Hanson's book. Affected people got fevers so negative they hurled themselves into the city's water supply, therefore further spreading the outbreak. The great Pericles themself perished from it.
The particular book is carved upwards not chronologically but thematically, with sieges, hoplite combat, naval warfare and other subjects being highlighted in turn. Those acquainted with Mister. Hanson's other writings will quickly discern an overarching pattern in 'A Conflict Like No Other' that is present elsewhere too: His ability to bring typically the important subjects down in order to human proportions is second to none of them. So he will allocate a few pages in order to how difficult it is usually, in fact, to destroy olive trees, because they avoid burn easily and they are incredibly resilient (Mr. Hanson is usually himself a farmer in California). He will cite the poor rowers living in the lower decks in typically the triremes, the Greek naval vessels. And he describes typically the fate of the people in typically the cities suffering through sieges while desperately trying in order to reinforce their protective wall space as the besiegers are functioning to break them straight down. Finally, the pages detailing the outbreak of illness in Athens, mentioned previously, depart a lasting impression. It all makes for excellent reading.
The plethora of town names and other terms hurled toward you throughout typically the book can make this a little intimidating and even dry occasionally. But Mister. Hanson's command of typically the subject is impressive, making the book a fantastic intro into the history of this great war. In case you're looking to expand your historical scope plus dip your toes into this subject, I may highly recommend fantastic go through., If you have ever bogged down trying in order to get through Thucydides, this book is the gateway in order to getting a clearer comprehending of the folly which was one of the major revolutions in history, pitting peoples who had everything in accordance as they dropped on each other with uncommon ferocity. Hanson cuts by means of much of the limitless listings of participants inside the events as " Times son of Y" and the repetitions of names of cities you never observed of and possess difficulty recalling whether they sided with Attica or the Peloponnesus. Most of all, Hanson concentrates on the drop and decline of Athens, a city state whose " Golden Age" has been truly magnificent, establishingh typically the pattern for democracies almost everywhere. Hanson preserves in their particular entirety, the words of Athenian leaders who aware the citizens of Athens of the folly of mounting a major attack of Sicily they can not afford just a number of years after recovering coming from a devastating plague. Nicias' warning to the Athenian Assembly predicts precisely typically the disaster that actually came to pass just since he forewarned, Interestingly, from the time Nicias has been pay as a " weak leader" by traditional Athenians who claimed typically the credibility of Attica might be destroyed being a innovator of the known planet if they backed awat from this " war of choice".
Best of almost all, Hanson's book provides you with a new clear overview of occasions within this historic conflict with so much relevance nowadays and makes it so much easier to motivate someone to go back in order to finish the original. Tip: The most recent plus most acclaimed version of the original is " The Landmark Thucydides: A thorough Guide to the Peloponnesian War" by Robert W. Strassler
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