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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This book deals with the conflicts between the Greeks and Persians beginning with the birth of the Persian King Kyros the Great to the signing of `The King's Peace' between the Persians and the Greek cities. This book includes all the major conflicts, such as the battles of Marathon and Thermopylai. The major source drawn on for this book is from The Histories by the Greek historian Herodotus, the `Father of History'. Although this book is somewhat light in places, it is well written and researched. This book would be perfect for anyone studying this period without wishing to go through the original sources.
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on 21 May 2015
A very good introduction to Alexander the Great, starting with his father, Phillip II, and his early life. Yes, he was charismatic and his military feats were amazing. But his army was really developed by his father. He merely used it on the grand scale, whereas Phillip just used his army in Greece. Also, he relied on other generals underneath him (had to to an extent); a number of which he did not treat well, often because of jealousy. It shows a man who only really seemed to enjoy fighting and boosting his own ego, never consolidating his conquests. He left a massive mess behind him which took a couple of decades of in-fighting between his various generals before it settled down. In some respects he was less successful than his father. Unfortunately for such a great man, dying young may have saved his reputation. As it probably has for others in history (e.g. Hanry IV of France).

I would have given the narrative and commentry/explanation 5 stars, as it was excellent. However, the book was let down by too few of Essential History's usually excellent maps and in a couple of places the maps that were there were not in sequence with the text.

For a book limited to less than 100 pages, the Essential History's format, it is a great introduction to a fascinating, but very flawed man.
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on 21 July 2014
Avery good summary of the wars from 499 - 475 (the era beyond to 386 is only a postscript in this volume). There are some comments on how valid the historical sources are. The book is a good summary and ideal as a primer for more detailed books or reflection after reading several (in my case). Finally at £0.99, you can't go wrong.
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on 12 April 2014
This summarises the reasons for the ending of the Persian Empire and the critical part played by its Greeks enemies. My thanks to the Red House distributors who provided me with a good,clean copy.
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on 28 July 2014
a short book but it explains very well the history of war in ancient Greece and Sparta against the persians
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on 19 December 2014
Extremely concise and readable.
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