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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It also illustrates the resilience of a democratic lagan to rise up after a series of debilitating setbacks, plus pure stubbornness with a touch of arrogance and fear. I liked this book. However, plague erupted in Athens and with large numbers of people in close quarters conditions were ripe to make this a devastating event.

Want to Read saving…. English Choose a language for shopping. His course “The Origins of War” was one of the university’s most popular courses for twenty-five years. I am going to give Kagan the best compliments I can 1 After reading this book I want to read more about the ancient world. In fact if someone decided to re-publish the tetralogy I would suggest using the maps from the The Peloponnesian War.

Out of fear, honor, and interest.

The Peloponnesian War: Donald Kagan: : Books

The Athenians don’t get off lightly either, and usually it’s because of politicians. I admit up front, I’m an Athenian girl. 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.

Apr 10, Campbell added it Shelves: Athens-having led the Greek world in victory against the Persian empire and flush with 50 years of empire building, projecting their power across the region via their superior naval strength, democracy and commerce, as the leader of the Delian league, looks to once and for all neutralize the Spartan threat and establish themselves as the unrivaled Greek masters. His late wife of sixty-two years, Myrna Kaganwas a teacher and historian in her own right, and the author of Vision in the Sky: According to Jim Lobe, cited by Craig Unger, Kagan’s turn away from liberalism occurred in when Cornell University was pressured into starting a Black Studies program by gun-wielding students seizing the Willard Straight Hall: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War.


The Disaster in Sicily Chapter Twenty: Showing of 89 reviews. Still, the narrative is solid and the maps are pretty good and in A thorough, well-researched history of the Peloponnesian war, as the unimaginative and rather boring title suggests. Apr 09, Daniel rated it really liked it Recommends it for: 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 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.

This is a great book and I highly recommend it.

Nonetheless, for me, I suspect I will find peloponnwsian details in those pages, and look forward to beginning that journey. This door-stopping tome is billed as “a readable narrative in a single volume to be read by the general reader for pleasure,” and that description makes me wonder what his four-volume complete history must have read like.

I want to learn more. I read lots of programming books so i have – believe it or not, follow me here low tolerance for boredom. It seems that years of ‘progress’ hasn’t progressed very much because politicians today are just as prone to hubris and self-serving policy as they were in Ancient Greece.

A small sampling of what I learned.


Sparta-strong, legendary and unrivaled land power, oligarchic and always fearful of helotic revolt, leaders of the fractious Peloponnesian league, which included the powerful cities of Corinth, Thebes and Argos, rivals to the Athenian led league. But in a way, these human foibles and failings make much of the story of the great war; and great it was, drawing oeloponnesian city-states far and wide, with a cast of characters that gives George RR Martin a run for his money meaning the literary Martin, not the televised.

I knew that it was a war between Athens and Sparta, but I was not even sure who won. The Spartan’s supposed desire to defeat Athens “for the independence of Greek states” becomes subverted to their desire for victory as they’re willing to sacrifice Greeks to Persian rule. Jan 07, Peter Mcloughlin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Archived from the original on March 3, Get to Know Us. I especially like his analysis of the political structure and sentiments of the citizens of Athens, especially t A lot could be learned from this akgan, among them a full picture of the 5th century political and military struggles among the ancient Greeks, which is highly valuable because there is so few accounts left or ever existed for other ancient civilizations, and this author weren’t shy from giving speculations and interpretations, made the book highly readable, informative and insightful.

Their leaders are faulted for being overwhelmingly conservative and not taking advantage of moments of Athenian weakness, yet, when a dynamic Spartan leader emerges-like Brasidas or Lysander- he is faulted as being a sinister imperialist. Peloponnesan not sure I know the difference between the Hellespont and the Bosphorus.