Summary and Info
Bill Yenne's "Alexander the Great" is part of the "The World Generals Series". Like other books in the series, Alexander The Great, is written in a straightforward, chronological manner. There is little speculation or conjecture by the author. When, ancient sources differ, Yenne says something, Plutarch said it happend "this way" but Nicomedia said it happened "this other way."
However, what impressed this reviewer was not with how much ancient sources differed, but how similar was their telling of the story. For instance, all sources seem to agree as to the name of Alexander's favorite horse, when entered Babylon, how far he marched his army and so on.
In his telling of the story of Alexander, Yenne makes comparaions between Alexanders' situation to events in the modern era. These comparasions make the dry facts (such as the order of battle) become more interesting and relevant.
To underscore releveance to the modern era, Yenne's Alexander the Great comes with a short introdution by General Wesley Clark. Clark wants the reader to be see how Alexander was great a "quaterback". How he marshalled his forces. How he was able to read "defenses." How, like a great quaterback, he was able to use intution to make the most of a critical siutation.
However, as Yenne shows us, Alexander The Great was much more than a "quaterback." Unlike many other ancient, and even modern, generals, Alexander wasn't afraid to be a mentor to his subordiantes. He was also an accomplished engineer; he able to find unique technical solutions to challenging tactical sitautions. He was also quite a diplomat; he was able to turn enemies into allies. Further, he was way ahead of his time culturally. Unlike other conquerors, he genuinely appreciated customs not his own. As Yenne shows us, Alexander was "great" in many ways besides being a great "quaterback."
Scholars might want additional detail, but as just under two hundred pages, Yenne's Alexander the Great, was long enough to give the reviewe a clear understanding of one of the great personages of history, but without too much excessive detail or scholarly commentary.
More About the Author
James William "Bill" Kennedy (8 July 1919 – 3 March 2001) was an Australian politician. He was a Country Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1971 to 1984.
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