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Publisher's Summary

Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) ascended to the throne of Macedon at the age of 20. He fought his greatest battles, including the conquest of the mighty Persian Empire, before he was 25, and died at the age of 33, still undefeated by any enemy. His reputation as a supreme warrior and leader of men is unsurpassed in the annals of history.

In the brilliantly imagined first-person voice of Alexander the Great, acclaimed novelist Steven Pressfield brings to life his epic battles, his unerring command of his forces, and the passions and ambitions that drove him. A full-blooded, multi-dimensional portrait, The Virtues of War captures Alexander's complex character. No one tells of battles as brilliantly as Pressfield, and here he vividly describes the seminal conflicts of Alexander's career, revealing the tactics behind them and capturing the blood, heat, and terror of the battlefield.

©2004 Steven Pressfield (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

Fan of Alexander the great

Pressfield did such great work with the Spartans in "Gates of Fire" and Alcibiades in "Tides of War", that I expected a similar enthralling story of Alexander. Unfortunately I was a bit disappoiinted still enjoyed the story but found myself more confused at times than interested.

  • Overall

Not a novel

This is not a novel. This is (maybe) a diary. Mostly, it is a war log. It gives excruciating detail on each battle Alexander fought (the formation, how many foot soldiers, how many cavalry, how the soldiers were equipped, each blow they landed). I listened to about half... waiting for the story to begin. When I realized that this was a military history tome, I stopped and moved on to something more interesting.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Too shallow

This book is too short to cover the entire Alexander campaigns. Too many details are left out and the first-person narrative does not allow the reader to connect with characters and get into any meaningful depth of understanding.

I would instead recommend the trilogy by Valerio Massimo Manfredi.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Read and Good Narrator

Steven Pressfield has delivered another military nonfiction that is comparable to that of Gates of Fire.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

The excellence you should expect of Pressfield

One of Pressfields finest. Riveting tale of Alexander the Great, highlighting the tactics of his armies and his principles of war.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Outstanding

I've read most of Pressfield's work and this is one of the best. Having read several historical books about Alexander, this novel captures more of what the man was probably like... As best we can piece it together.

To accomplish what he did, and have the impact he did on history, he must have been remarkable. Pressfield paints both the legend and the man in exceptional detail.


Audio performance was excellent as well.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matthew
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 08-02-10

Interesting; a bit misleading

Readers who expect another "Gates of Fire" from Pressfield will be slightly disappointed here, as I was, because "Virtues of War" seems to be sold as a similar novel, but is in fact, more tame, and more of a character study than a novel of war. It is about war, while not having much war in it. So, going in with this knowledge, you might be better prepared. Alexander is an interesting figure here, and we get some good insight to how he felt about his life. There are some pieces missing... there's no talk of his mother and the relationship with Hephastion seems to be skirted slightly (Pressfield not wanting to get into the bisexuality issue?). Read this if you like military history, the topic of war, and the time period. But if you're looking for a true, gritty war novel, there might be some other choices you'd make first.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful