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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Alcibiades and the Athenian navy score some victories against the Peloponnesians, and the Spartans sue for peace– which the Athenians reject because they would not accept the status quo with so many of their former colonies, donapd Byzantium and Ephesus, under Spartan control. Some commentators liken Kagan’s approach to some sort of liberal predilection, he just hates the oligarchs because he’s a bleeding heart socialist.

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Donald Kagan

They promise that it will be “temporary” in order to save money and prevent the demise of Athens and will eventually restore democracy to a larger group of 5, I rather wished I’d gone for the four volume expanded edition! Kagan is supposed to have a pro democracy bias.

However, it takes more than good writing to make a classic book. I peloppnnesian not a professional trying to catch Kagan in an error.

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Athens after the Persian War Part Two: The war would last for almost three decades, with one significant truce of several years that was frequently violated. I am not a great reader of military histories; most, in my experience, are a boring slog. Athens after the Persian War. To read Kagan’s ‘History of the Peloponnesian War’ at the present hour is to be almost unbearably tested.

The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan

The last chapters of the book are anti-climactic in my opinion. It’s a mighty work of erudition this, and I’d say that some background in the subject will help.


Ironically, Pericles succumbed to the disease and Athens was left with a vacuum in leadership at a time that three distinct camps had formed over the war’s strategy.

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. Spartans and Athenians had differing cultures and political structures and did not get along. Written for the historian and the lay person. That Athens was able to keep the war going as long as it did is testimony to the wealth produced by its empire–neither continuous Spartan destruction of its countryside, nor a bout of plague early on, nor its imperialistic adventure in Sicily where it was defeated by the Syracusansnor the temporary overthrow of its democracy by aristrocrats were able to knock it out, and its final defeat seems as much due to a self-imposed disciplining of its experienced generals as it was due to the skill of the Spartans, although there is no doubt that Lysander, particularly when backed by the Persians, had much the stronger hand at that point.

The one main criticism I have with Kagan’s presentation of this war in this book is that at times — often, in fact — I found myself wanting more: May 04, Jeff Clay rated it really liked it. Want to Read saving…. 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 book, 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.

The Athenians negotiate a final peace where they agree to give up their colonies and raze their walls, but maintain their liberty.

The Foundation of Thurii I want to learn more. Apr 19, H Willshire rated it really liked it. A modern person should not praise the Athenians for being a democracy, they should condemn them for being imperialists.


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.

For my formal studies we were required to have one modern and one ancient area of focus. Sparta was the land power, and could simple march into the Athenian territory of Attica at the beginning of the war, and start devastating their farms and agriculture. How, for example, given the difficulty in transportation, and with only rudimentary hand-tools, and a donzld devastated by war sonald the plague, was Athens as well as Sparta able to build and maintain so many triremes.

Rapidly losing their place as the premier Greek power and forced to counter the growing Athenian encroachment on their sphere of influence the Spartans are forced to fight. Without the gift of Thucydides’ own monumental narrative of the first 20 years of the war it is pretty clear that kagwn knowledge and understanding of both the lessons and facts of that cataclysmic war would be fundamentally different and significant less.

The Peloponnesian War

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. This book is a summary of sorts of Kagan’s early tetralogy and that really was his intention so we should awr fault him.

Nov 05, Jason rated it liked it. There is an astonishing dar of detail offered not only about the actions of the historical protagonists, but also their personalities and mind sets, especially considering the relative paucity of sources.

Donald Kagan – Wikipedia

Buy the selected items together This item: Would you like to tell us about a lower price? I read this hoping to get a more accessible and engaging version of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War before embarking on that text. I had skimmed reviews and seen the general approval of the book when it came out so i gave it a chance.

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