The War That Killed Achilles

The War That Killed Achilles

The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War

Paperback - 2009
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"Spectacular and constantly surprising."
-Ken Burns

Written with the authority of a scholar and the vigor of a bestselling narrative historian, The War That Killed Achilles is a superb and utterly timely presentation of one of the timeless stories of Western civilization. As she did in The Endurance and The Bounty , New York Times bestselling author Caroline Alexander has taken apart a narrative we think we know and put it back together in a way that lets us see its true power. In the process, she reveals the intended theme of Homer's masterwork-the tragic lessons of war and its enduring devastation.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, c2009.
ISBN: 9780143118268
Characteristics: xvii, 296 pages :,maps ;,22 cm.

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crankylibrarian Jun 30, 2012

I picked this up after seeing a one man play of _The Iliad_, and it completely changed the way I see the play and the classic poem. Ms Alexander persuasively argues that far from being a glorification of warfare, _The Iliad_ speaks eloquently of the joys of hearth and home, and presents war as a cruel and destructive tragedy for all concerned. There are no real winners in this tale, and it's clear that most of the participants don't even want the war to continue. Alexander also clarifies some common misconceptions about Achilles: though he is a troubled hero, his struggle with Agamemnon is not merely one of pique and ego, but a question of whether or not soldiers should blindly follow inept leaders to their deaths. Accompanied by eye opening commentary from soldiers in World War and Vietnam who found meaning in _The Iliad_, this demonstrates the enduring relevance of an ancient classic.

l
Logovore
Oct 12, 2011

This was an interesting read.

c
c_anderson
Feb 12, 2011

This is more a commentary on the Iliad than an exploration of war. Some excellent historical background, but includes extensive quotation from the Iliad itself.

k
KittyKoko
Dec 24, 2009

The content isn't quite what I expected. The book runs through the main parts of the Iliad and provides historical background to illustrate why Homer described scenes and wrote dialogue the way he did.

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