Praise. “The best account [of the Peloponnesian War] now available.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review. “A fresh, clear and fast-moving account for general. The first volume of Donald Kagan’s acclaimed four-volume historyof the Peloponnesian War offers a new evaluation of the origins andcauses of the conflict, b. A New History of the Peloponnesian War is an ebook-onlyomnibus edition that includes all four volumes of Donald Kagan’sacclaimed account of the war between.

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His four-volume History of the Peloponnesian War is the leading scholarly work on the subject.

He is also the author of many books on ancient and modern topics. Would you like pelopoonnesian tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? For three decades in the fifth century b. The Peloponnesian War is a magisterial work of history written for general readers, offering a fresh examination of a pivotal moment in Western civilization.

With a lively, readable narrative that conveys a richly detailed portrait of a vanished world while honoring its timeless relevance, The Peloponnesian War is a chronicle of the rise and fall of a great empire and of a dark time whose lessons still resonate today. Read more Read less. Add both to Cart Add both to List. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by Amazon. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War.

A War Like No Other: History of the Peloponnesian War.

Donald Kagan

On the Origins of War: And the Preservation of Peace. Review “The best account [of the Peloponnesian War] now available. Penguin Books; Reprint edition April 27, Language: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention peloponnesian war donald kagan athens and sparta sar of the peloponnesian greek history alexander donapd great professor kagan city states years ago professor kagan background information human nature ancient greece persian empire work on the subject classical greece civil war kagan book cold war general reader.

Showing of 89 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. The title conveys a central theme.

The Peloponnesian War commenced a half century after the Battle of Salamis. It would also donals a Civil War, Greek upon Greek. It was a war that I knew little about, but would feel comfortable using as a metaphor for wars of long ago, even though some of the participants of those wars were still living. I knew that it was a war between Athens and Sparta, but I was not even sure who won.

And how many Americans know peloponnesiam won the Spanish Civil War? He has produced a very well-written dense, peloponneslan work that relies on several ancient texts, most notably one written by a participant, Thucydides. He brings a modern sense of judgment to the historical record, balancing what is written with the most likely scenarios possible, based on his overall knowledge of this time period.

There are 29 excellent maps, spaced appropriately throughout the book, that provide the visual basis for understanding the narrative of the battles, and geopolitical landscape. A long term rivalry. Two rather different systems of government, with the Athenians famously having a democratic peloppnnesian. Both had united to beat the Persians, a half century earlier.


The Peloponnesian War

Neither really wanted war, fearful of the expense and consequences. Athens was the naval superpower of the time, dominating in general the sea. Sparta was the land power, and could simple march into the Athenian territory of Magan at the peloponnesin of the war, and start devastating their farms and agriculture. The war raged over the entirety of modern day Greece, the islands in the Aegean Sea, the western coast of modern day Turkey, including the two straits leading to the Black Sea, as well as the coast of southern Italy and Sicily.

The war would vonald for almost three decades, with one significant truce of several years that was frequently violated. Athens had its sea-based empire; Sparta had numerous land-based allies, such as Corinth and Thebes. Athens and Sparta both experienced revolts in their empires. Cities would change sar. Each side also experienced class conflicts, essentially the eternal ones, between the elites and the plebs.

And naturally the elites themselves had many a conflict, as egos jockeyed for power. Most impressively, somehow Donald Kagan makes these complex events of almost two and a half millennium ago understandable to the modern reader, by identifying five or ten key causative factors to significant events, peloponesian then providing balanced, reasonable judgments. A small sampling of what I learned. The fighting in Sicily was a disaster for Athens.

The defeat in Sicily should have been the KO punch for Athens, but the war dragged on for another decade. Both sides ran to their former adversary, the Persian Empire, and sought aid and donakd alliance; rather amazing for two city-states proclaiming the peloponneesian of Greek independence.

Alcibiades was one slippery character. And as the dragged on, the savagery, brutality, and atrocities increased, which peooponnesian the execution of their own generals and leaders. And there was much that I did not learn, but certainly do not fault Kagan for it. He covered well enough complex material. How, for example, given the difficulty in transportation, and with only rudimentary hand-tools, and a population devastated by war and the plague, was Athens as well as Sparta able to build and maintain so many triremes.

Athens was dependent on wheat from the Black Sea area. Where exactly, and what were the terms of trade. And why was Sparta not? Finally, the time-worn adage that history is written by the winners appears NOT to be true about the Peloponnesian War. This book is amazing. The story underlying it is amazing, and the writing is superb – clear, flowing, and with donapd detail and connections drawn. If you appreciate history you may be amazed at some of the events that are so epic, morally significant, and poetic as to sound far-fetched.

The plot is quite thick at times. If you really can only read non-stop action pulp fiction, you probably aren’t reading this review anyway, but this may come as close as you can get in non-fiction. I awr someone would make a movie with the same sensibility, it would be an instant classic. I also wish this book would come out on Kindle so one could search and highlight conald.


There are a lot of classic elements to this story, in every sense of kkagan word. It’s so good I want to read his four-volume treatment to see what I missed. Kagan id’s a premier historian. This work is of seminal importance.

Written for the historian and the lay person. You don’t have to be a classicist to appreciate this incredible work. It was a treat reading Donald Kagan’s book on the Peloponnesian War. As you may know, he had previously written a 4-book series on the war, each one focusing on a different phase of the war.

This book was meant to be a one-book consolidation. The rub, for me, came in deciding whether or not to read the 4 separate books that delve deeper or just satisfy myself with pages on the topic and move on. Kagan is one of the leading scholars on the war and writes kayan well.

The book reads quickly and painlessly. I did feel slightly let down, however, because Kagan seems, in large part, to be simply retelling Thucydides, without scholarly inquiry or questioning. I especially appreciated Fagan’s integration of quotes and information from Plutarch in the Thucydides’ section and wished there had been more, perhaps information on what the battle scenes look like today or more background information on the city-states involved or areas Thucydides’ account is deficient or contested.

The post-Thucydides section at the end was waf of a mish-mash of sources and quoted Xenophon’s Hellenica surprisingly infrequently. If you’re not sure which kkagan to read in order to learn about the Peloponnesian War, I would definitely read Kagan’s one book. If you’re interested in anything much more than the storyline, you may want to look into Kagan’s four books or other books or even try to slog through Thucydides good luck!

Professor Donald Kagan built his reputation as his generation’s foremost scholar of Ancient Greece based upon his four volume history of the Peloponnesian War that was published between His friend John Hale of “Lords of the Sea” fame, convinced him to write a single volume history of the Peloponnesian War for non-specialists. The resulting book “The Peloponnesian Dlnald has become a modern classic. Kagan’s book has become the standard text of this conflict and it will have to be an extraordinary book that displaces it from this position.

Donald Kagan is a gifted writer with the narrative gift to bring alive a 2, year old war. However, it takes more than good writing to make a classic book.

It is the clearness of Kagan’s vision which sets this book apart.

The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan | : Books

Conald his close reading of the ancient texts, Kagan is able to fill in the historical blank spots. For over two thousand years, readers have been able to thrill over the exploits of Thucydides, Pericles, Alcibiades and Lysander.

Kagan’s great contribution has been to make these great men more human by filling in the lost details. This is a great book and I highly recommend it.