Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War (New York: Viking, ), pp. It was Alfred North Whitehead who said that all Western philosophy is but a footnote. Donald Kagan. The Peloponnesian War. New York: Penguin Books, xxvii + pp. $ (paper), ISBN Reviewed by Janice J. 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.

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And the Preservation of Peace.

Kagan manages a serviceable one volume history but not an exciting and engrossing one. Whether or not this idea is valid today, imposing it on Greek society of years ago is, as I said above, anachronistic and totally wrong. Due to the original detail this account is also very detailed — often describing what were no more than minor skirmishes with a handful of dead on each side Condensed version of a multi-volume academic study into the war between Sparta and Athens in the 5th century BC, the book is mainly based around a famous historic account of the war by a contemporary of the events often regarded as the first real history book but at many times uses other sources to challenge the biases in that account.

Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go.

I want to learn more. The question of how to have “peace kqgan honor” for both sides in a potential stalemate becomes the issue. Share your thoughts with other customers.

Kagan’s The Peloponnesian War – AshbrookAshbrook

I think the main reasons for that are 1 it is such a prolonged war and 2 the layout of the cities involved. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Published April 27th by Penguin Books first published Although I am sure that Mr. Archived from the original on Kagan gives us neither heroes and villains nor victors and victims.


As the coup falls apart, the moderates execute the extremists, building monuments to their treachery.

The Athenians don’t get off lightly either, and usually it’s because of politicians. Much of the book is simply riveting.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Thucydides is cited throughout in a manner reminiscent of the notation used to cite Biblical chapter and verse.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. It was a treat reading Donald Kagan’s book on the Peloponnesian War.

The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan

History of the Peloponnesian War. Even weapons and tactics are given only superficial treatment. Both respect and fear each other and peace is not easily broken.

But whether or not Kagan is ‘down’ on the Lacedaemonians, it’s true that the approach of the narrative does make it difficult to feel much sympathy for them. Winnipeg in my undergraduate days. A modern person should not praise the Athenians for being a democracy, they should condemn them for being imperialists. Each side also experienced class conflicts, essentially the eternal ones, between the elites and the plebs.

Those are assumptions are 1 the war will unfold precisely in the way the proposed strategy dictates and 2 the war can be quickly won.

And as the dragged on, the savagery, brutality, and atrocities increased, which included the execution of their own generals and leaders. Books of the Week. Jan 26, Ed Abbott rated it it was amazing.

The other part about notes and appendices I probably wouldn’t read them. How would it work?

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Nov 10, Lewis Kelly rated it really liked it. My real trouble with it was the end. Kagan attempts to take us into the mind of a nation in the sense of people with a shared culture and identity torn by strategic forces of power and empire. A minor quibble is that the conclusion is only 5 pages long and seems really inadequate compared to the proceeding pages. Thucydides believed Pericles defensive posture was wise and the Athenians would have won had they stuck to it and blames the Sicilian campaign as the disaster brought on by an offensive posture.


The book is very dense pages, so adding more is not something to be done lightly, yet it is also explicitly aimed at the general reader, so the lack of a handy primer on basic background is puzzling. The research for this is impeccable. Under Pericles the Athenians would concentrate its citizens behind the city’s walls and wait out the Spartans. The Peace Unravels I admit up front, I’m an Athenian girl.


Quite the commitment, and this is the condensed version, so hats off to anyone who’s read pelooponnesian four volume edition. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Ironically, Pericles succumbed to the disease and Athens was left with a vacuum in leadership kavan a time that three distinct camps had formed over the war’s strategy. Until his retirement inKagan was Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University —a title reserved for only the few most accomplished academics at Yale.

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