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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus illuminates the Soviet revolution, 23 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Gladiators (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Students of Ancient History should not look here for a what really happened story, though there is not much that actually contradicts the account given by ancient authors. AK tells his story of rebellion and how the detours of that rebellion take unforeseen ways that inevitably lead back to the oppression that they were initiated to avoid. This is a political point designed to show the shortcomings of the communist revolutions and AK's own personal disenchantment with left-wing politics in which he was a personal activist. This forms a conceptual trilogy with, 'Darkness at Noon' and 'Arrival and Departure'. These books do not concern Spartacus but continue with the theme of the limits of ideological thinking. Darkness is a barely concealed critique of Stalinist Russia's show trials, whilst Arrival is set in a parallel Portugal and concerns itself with political refugees
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A REMARKABLE FEAT OF HISTORICAL EXTRAPOLATION, 19 Nov. 2013
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This is the first of Koestler's trilogy about failed revolutions, and despite the almost total absence of facts about the gladiators' revolt in the 1st century BC, he created a compelling myth about Spartacus and his desire to set up a utopian state for his ragged army of gladiators, slaves, dispossessed farmers and hangers on. At first the slave army defeats a number of complacent Roman generals and poorly trained Legions -- but of course the revolution is doomed to fail, and ironically at the hands of Crassus, the immensely wealthy Roman, perhaps the world's first monetary oligarch, whose God is capitalism. An extraordinary novel which has inspired people for 60 years, and almost as good as the superlative Darkness at Noon, the second novel of the trilogy. Both are required reading!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great., 23 April 2014
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This review is from: The Gladiators (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
This is one of Koestler's best novels. The story of Spartacus, and told so well. The research is good for such a tale and
It is well worth the buy.
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The Gladiators (Vintage Classics)
The Gladiators (Vintage Classics) by Arthur Koestler (Paperback - 4 Nov. 1999)
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