Synopses & Reviews
This book applies modern psychiatric concepts such as paranoia,depression, suicide, alcoholism, religiosity, and megalomania to the behavior of Alexander the Great. The author argues that Alexander theGreat was not considered normal in the warrior society of Macedonia, and concludes that Alexander was probably a psychopath who was alsosuffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) brought on by his exposure to violence and danger in war. Author Richard Gabrielteaches history and war studies at the Royal Military College of Canada. He was also a US Army officer assigned to the Department ofCombat Psychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where he conducted research on combat-related stress. Distributed by Casemate.Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
Over the years, some 20,000 books and articles have been written about Alexander the Great, the vast majority hailing him as possibly the greatest general that ever lived. Richard A. Gabriel, however, argues that, while Alexander was clearly a successful soldier-adventurer, the evidence of real greatness is simply not there.
The author presents Alexander as a misfit within his own warrior society, attempting to overcompensate. Thoroughly insecure and unstable, he was given to episodes of uncontrollable rage and committed brutal atrocities that would today have him vilified as a monstrous psychopath. The author believes some of his worst excesses may have been due to what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, of which he displays many of the classic symptoms, brought on by extended exposure to violence and danger. Above all the author thinks that Alexander's military ability has been flattered by History. Alexander was tactically competent but contributed nothing truly original, while his strategy was often flawed and distorted by his obsession with personal glory. This radical reappraisal is certain to provoke debate.