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Alexander the Great (2011)

de Philip Freeman

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246790,471 (3.93)2
A lively, entertaining, and historically accurate new biography of Alexander, with new insights into the Macedonian world that shaped him.
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Just a great read, period. Doesn't matter the genre, Phillip Freeman has crafted one of the best biographies/histories that I have read to-date. I really reads like a work of fiction, it is lucid and the prose is excellent. It is readable for anyone (well anyone high school and older) and for being of ancient material, it is well researched. Just a great job by the author and a fun book to read.

I kept thinking, this is a story that HBO should make a mini series about...everything about Alexander was just over-the-top.

Highly recommended for anyone! ( )
  Schneider | May 23, 2022 |
Philip Freeman has here provided a popular biography of Alexander that makes is accessible to a public library audience without offending a snob. He said he was writing a narrative, not an analysis, and he does. One odd effect is that the reader seems to connect with Alexander the royal tourist as the Macedonian rube arrives at the great Eastern cities and gapes at their wonders.
Freeman judges him by the standards of his time and doesn’t find him better or worse morally. The standards of the time, it is understood, included destroying the lives, often literally, of thousands of civilians who trying to live their lives. What was exceptional about him was his genius as a general, his ambition, and his impact. Freeman surprised me twice when discussing the latter. He believes that Greek culture might have been another cultural backwater if Alexander hadn’t spread it as a military necessity. (Freeman trucks no nonsense about Alexander the cultural ambassador.) And he believes that Christianity couldn’t have spread throughout the Roman Empire if the use of “Alexander’s Greek” hadn’t been widespread. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Apr 20, 2022 |
I read a lot of biographies. I think many times, history is best learned and understood through studying the people that make it.

This biography of Alexander the Great is quite different from most that I read. Instead of a well footnoted (it does have end notes), scholarly presentation, this is very informally written. In some ways, it makes it more readable, in others, however, I find it detracts and sometimes distracts.

Writing biographies of ancient personages is a tricky business. Sometimes there is very little source material. In others, what source material exists cannot be certified as accurate. That is certainly the case here, where the sources many times conflict markedly. At other times, supernatural forces are credited.

This account does give a nice historical timeline and includes a handy map which tracks Alexander’s campaign through the Middle East, Persia, the Hindu Kush and Indus basin. It introduces all the main characters in his life and doesn’t engage in hagiography.

The best biographers, such as David McCollough, Ron Chernow and Walter Isaacson produce impeccably researched works that are both academically rigid, yet perfectly readable. Of course, their subjects did not live 300 years before the birth of Christ. Anyone looking for a somewhat informal treatment of the life and campaigns of Alexander the Great could probably do worse. ( )
  santhony | Apr 20, 2021 |
Lots of battles, injuries, betrayals, bad guys, good guys, etc. I don’t know what else I expected but it was well-told and relatively short compared to other options. I felt like I got inside Alexander’s head with this book—he wanted to rule the world. He could be very kind and generous, mainly if it helped him conquer the world. ( )
  KarenMonsen | Nov 9, 2020 |
A nice biography of Alexander the Great. Classics professor Philip Freeman keeps it readable; no footnotes, although there’s a page-indexed section on sources in the end matter. Freeman is always careful to note where the ancient authors disagree on some aspect of Alexander’s career – which is fairly often – and although willing to speculate on some of the controversial aspects (for example, did Alexander and his mother Olympias conspire to murder his father, Philip II) he doesn’t try to make a personal case for anything. Maps of the Aegean and the Persian Empire (although none of individual battles); a plate section is mostly photographs of the modern appearance of important sites. ( )
2 vota setnahkt | Oct 6, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 7 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"In a readable, nonacademic narrative, the author capably sketches the powerful legacy of Alexander in spreading the culture of Greece that has proved the foundation for Western civilization."
afegit per bookfitz | editaKirkus Reviews (Nov 1, 2010)
 
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A lively, entertaining, and historically accurate new biography of Alexander, with new insights into the Macedonian world that shaped him.

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