Paul Cartledge is widely acknowledged to be the world's leading expert on the subject of Sparta and ancient Greece. He is Professor of Greek History and Chairman of the Classics Faculty at Cambridge University and has written and edited many articles and books, including The Spartans, published by Overlook, the subject of a PBS documentary series of the same name. Cartledge is also academic consultant to the BBC and PBS for the series The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization.
I approached this book with some hesitation, afraid of being disappointed by a historian whom I have admired for a long time. I am always skeptical of any book with the word, "Alexander", in the title; so many of them are no more than a scheme to cash in on his popularity. This is not one of those. It is a valuable contribution to Alexander Studies and the best book I have read on the subject in over ten years.
Based upon a series of lectures given by Cartledge at Cambridge over the last 25 years, it is as up to date as today's newspaper and far better conceived. The overall concept is as clear and logical as are the individual arguments presented. Alexander stands cogently between Tarn's and Worthington's. He is multidimensional and saliently real.
These lectures were presented to undergraduates at Cambridge University and we would assume some degree of familiarity with the subject here. Cartledge provides a mercifully brief reiteration of the Alexander biography with an excellent time line, a useful glossary, and a fine bibliography. His discourse on the sources is, itself, worth the small price of the book and applicable to other Ancient History studies as well.
The remarkable life of Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military geniuses of all time, vividly told by one of the world's leading experts in Greek history. With all the intensity, insight, and narrative drive that made The Spartans such a hit with critics …