The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great Book Summary and Study Guide

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This is the life story of Alexander as narrated by him at various stages of his life. He trains from a very young age to become a warrior prince at age eighteen commanding his first battalion of cavalry against the Theban elite forces at the battle of Chaeronea under the leadership of his father Philip King of Macedon. Alexander ascends the throne at the age of 20 when Philip is assassinated. Already a brilliant military strategist and a fearless leader, he surpasses his father in uniting the Greece city-states into a cohesive military power to launch a campaign into Asia and put an end to the centuries of invasive wars with Persia and it's Kings: Xerxes, Darius, Darius III, etc.
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A statesman and diplomat, Alexander conquered much of the known world through reputation rather than battle. However when a fight was called for he felt empathy and even love for the valor of those men he would go up against. Alexander was merciless to those who were disrespectful of him or acted without honor. Early in his career he burned the great city of Thebes to the ground when they revolted against his garrison forces, making them an example for all of Greece to see. He fought at the forefront of his troops and inspired through his own acts of bravery and daring.

His obsession was the sole pursuit and eventual fight with Darius, the Ruler of most of Asia at the time. Darius was responsible for the murder of King Phillip, sought to assassinate Alexander as well, and conspired to turn Greeks against Alexander. For ages the Persians led forays into the Greek region to wage war. Alexander was driven by history to conquer the undefeatable armies of Darius, believing it to be his destiny. Always outnumbered against the Persian forces and their allies, Alexander focused his battle strategy to exploit the opponent's critical weakness through tactics of speed and power, racing to turn the odds in his favor then decimating the foe once in turmoil and retreat. By the time Alexander leaves India and returns home the scope of his military achievement is unthinkable with his vast empire stretching north and west into Europe, south to Egypt, and east through Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, and India.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Chapter Analysis of The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very upbeat Time/era of story:    -   ancient greece War Thriller    -   Yes Armed Forces:    -   Army Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   Prince/Nobleman/King Age:    -   20's-30's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Greece Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   The 'stans    -   India Desert?    -   Yes Desert:    -   dying of thirst, sunburn Misc setting    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Steven Pressfield Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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