The Virtues of War

The Virtues of War

A Novel of Alexander the Great

Book - 2004
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Random House, Inc.

Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.) ascended to the throne of Macedon at the age of twenty. He fought his greatest battles—including the conquest of the mighty Persian Empire—before he was twenty-five and died at the age of thirty-three, 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, multidimensional portrait, THE VIRTUES OF WAR captures Alexander’s complex character. Alexander was a fearless commander who moved with such daring and speed that no army could withstand him; a driven leader whose ambitions knew no limits; and a man with boundless compassion for his troops, deep friendships with his generals, and profound respect for his enemies. Yet in the end, his noble qualities were subsumed by his insatiable lust for glory.

No one writes about battles as brilliantly as Pressfield, and in THE VIRTUES OF WAR 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. He follows Alexander’s forces as they faced and defeated armies that far outnumbered them; delivers a thrilling frontline report from Gaugamela, the scene of Alexander’s greatest victory; and, in a memorable vignette, shows the great conqueror finally halted, not by an enemy but by the refusal of his worn-out troops to march any farther.

Epic in scope and magisterial in tone, THE VIRTUES OF WAR is sure to take its place among the classics of historical fiction.

Baker & Taylor
A historical novel chronicling the life of Alexander the Great follows the powerful leader from his rise to the throne of Macedon at the age of twenty, his conquest of much of the known world, including the mighty Persian Empire, before the age of twenty-five, to his early death at the age of thirty-three, offering a multifaceted portrait of a complex man. 100,000 first printing.

& Taylor

A historical novel chronicling the life of Alexander the Great follows the powerful leader from his rise to the throne of Macedon at the age of twenty, to his conquest of much of the known world, to his early death at the age of thirty-three.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385500999
Characteristics: 348 p


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ChristchurchLib Sep 17, 2014

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life," says Alexander the Great in this novel by bestselling author Steven Pressfield, which recreates the life and reign of the legendary Macedonian king and conqueror. Ascending to the throne of Macedon at age 20, Alexander immediately embarks upon a successful military campaign that brings most of the known world (including Egypt and the Persian Empire) under his rule. By the time he dies, just shy of his 33rd birthday, he has never been defeated. Narrated by Alexander himself, this "splendid fictional biography" (Booklist) will enthrall fans of ancient military history. Historical Fiction September 2014 Newsletter.

Jun 06, 2014

Just to start off, I want to say that this is not a book I would normally read and thus I was not particularly surprised when I didn’t really like it.

The story of Alexander the Great is told here by Alexander himself, he tells it to his young brother-in-law.

I like a good battle in a book, I wouldn’t read most of the historical fiction I do without liking it but the excruciating detail of the army and the tactics were far more than I bargained for when I picked this up. There were some great parts; I enjoyed the portions of the tale that told of Alexander’s father and mother and I thought the writing was fabulous but, for me, the story was way too detached and detailed.

jaysullivan Dec 24, 2011

Interesting for it's depiction of strategy and organization which led Alexander to greatness. Sad that there was no plan for continuation and civilization past his death. All his victories gradually ebbed away except as history.

Jul 25, 2010

A story of Alexander the Great`s campaigns, engagements, conquests and observations as viewed from the saddle. This is an odyssey of one of history`s most accomplished warriors. I was interested in the account of Alexander's encounters with India and Afghanistan. Pretty good Pressfield, not quite Gates of Fire good.


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