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A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War

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A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War Cover

ISBN13: 9780812969702
ISBN10: 0812969707
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of our most provocative military historians, Victor Davis Hanson has given us painstakingly researched and pathbreaking accounts of wars ranging from classical antiquity to the twenty-first century. Now he juxtaposes an ancient conflict with our most urgent modern concerns to create his most engrossing work to date, A War Like No Other.

Over the course of a generation, the Hellenic city-states of Athens and Sparta fought a bloody conflict that resulted in the collapse of Athens and the end of its golden age. Thucydides wrote the standard history of the Peloponnesian War, which has given readers throughout the ages a vivid and authoritative narrative. But Hanson offers readers something new: a complete chronological account that reflects the political background of the time, the strategic thinking of the combatants, the misery of battle in multifaceted theaters, and important insight into how these events echo in the present.

Hanson compellingly portrays the ways Athens and Sparta fought on land and sea, in city and countryside, and details their employment of the full scope of conventional and nonconventional tactics, from sieges to targeted assassinations, torture, and terrorism. He also assesses the crucial roles played by warriors such as Pericles and Lysander, artists, among them Aristophanes, and thinkers including Sophocles and Plato.

Hansons perceptive analysis of events and personalities raises many thought-provoking questions: Were Athens and Sparta like America and Russia, two superpowers battling to the death? Is the Peloponnesian War echoed in the endless, frustrating conflicts of Vietnam, Northern Ireland, and the current Middle East? Or was it more like Americas own Civil War, a brutal rift that rent the fabric of a glorious society, or even this centurys “red state—blue state” schism between liberals and conservatives, a cultural war that manifestly controls military policies? Hanson daringly brings the facts to life and unearths the often surprising ways in which the past informs the present.

Brilliantly researched, dynamically written, A War Like No Other is like no other history of this important war.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Using his tremendous scholarship and literary skills, Victor Davis Hanson brings the devastating seven-year conflict between the Athenians and Spartans, known as the Peloponnesian War, back to absorbing life. 16-page photo insert.

About the Author

Victor Davis Hanson has written or edited numerous books, including The Western Way of War, The Wars of the Ancient Greeks, The Soul of Battle, Carnage and Culture, and Ripples of Battle. He is also the author of two bestselling collections of essays: An Autumn of War and Between War and Peace. He is director emeritus of the classics program at California State University, Fresno, and currently a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, an Onassis fellow in Greece, Shifrin Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, and a recipient of the Eric Brendel Memorial Award for journalism. He lives and works with his wife and three children on their forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Gold Gato, November 25, 2013 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
Ancient Greece never seemed to be a cohesive, united lot as each city-state focused on its own objectives. Alas, this led to the eventual end of the Golden Age of Athens, which always puzzled me. The Spartans were also intriguing, a society built around masculinity and warfare and the complete opposite of its sibling neighbour of Athens. Why did these two giants fight and what were the consequences?

Hanson provides a full chronology of the issues leading to battles won and lost and he also does a good job of helping the reader understand the politics behind it all. Athens, with all her liberality and genius, produced conformists as military leaders while Sparta, so closed within itself, bred generals of brilliance. As the Peloponnesian War progressed, Athenian citizens became mercenary and seemingly unaware they were no longer the center of the universe.

In a sense, it's a civil war which led to Alexander's Macedonian dominance and the future empire of Rome. The strong point of this book is how the author relates this ancient war to modern times. Are we re-living the same experience with different combatants today? Perhaps. It's a good read for those with an interest in ancient Greece and the politics that lead to conflict.

Perhaps war really is the father of us all.

Book Season = Autumn (squirrels vs. acorns)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812969702
Author:
Hanson, Victor Davis
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Author:
Hanson, Victor
Subject:
Ancient - Greece
Subject:
Military - Other
Subject:
Military-General History
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 MAPS
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.2 x 6.1 x .9 in .95 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Ancient and Medieval
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Ancient Greece
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East
History and Social Science » World History » Classical
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Crossword Puzzles » General

A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War Used Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812969702 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Using his tremendous scholarship and literary skills, Victor Davis Hanson brings the devastating seven-year conflict between the Athenians and Spartans, known as the Peloponnesian War, back to absorbing life. 16-page photo insert.
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