In Tides of War, Steven Pressfield brings the historical precision and heartbreaking human scale that made his previous novel Gates of Fire an international bestseller to an even more epic saga of Greek strife and conflict.
The fate of the ancient world in the balance.
If history is the biography of extraordinary men, the life of Alcibiades (451-404 B.C.) comprises an indispensable chapter in the chronicle of the Western world. Kinsman of Pericles, protégé of Socrates, Alcibiades was acknowledged the most brilliant and charismatic personality of his day. Plutarch, Plato, and Thucydides have all immortalized him. As the pride of Achilles drove the course of the Trojan War, so Alcibiades' will and ambition set their stamp upon the Peloponnesian War--the twenty-seven-year civil conflagration between the Athenian empires, Sparta, and the Peloponnesian league.
As a commander on land and sea, Alcibiades was never defeated. The destinies of Athens and her favored son were inextricably intertwined. Man and city mirrored each other in boldness, ambition, and vulnerability. Allied, they swept from victory to victory. Apart, he guided her foes to glory. Of the spell Alcibiades cast over his contemporaries, Aristophanes wrote that Athens "loves, and hates, and cannot do without him." To the end, their renown and ruin were indissoluble.
Recounted by Alcibiades' captain of marines in a mesmerizing death-row confession, Tides of War is historical fiction at its finest--a multidimensional, flesh-and-blood renarration of one of history's pivotal conflicts.
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After chronicling the Spartan stand at Thermopylae in his audacious Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield once again proves that it's all Greek to him. In Tides of War, he tells the tale of Athenian soldier extraordinaire Alcibiades. Despite the vaunted claims for Periclean democracy, he is undoubtedly first among equals--a great warrior and an impressive physical specimen to boot: "The beauty of his person easily won over those previously disposed, and disarmed even those who abhorred his character and conduct." He is also a formidable orator, whose stump speeches are paradoxically heightened by what some might consider an impediment:
Even his lisp worked in Alcibiades' favor. It was a flaw; it made him human. It took the curse off his otherwise godlike self-presentation and made one, despite all misgivings, like the fellow.This tale of arms and the man requires two narrators. One, Jason, is an aging noble who serves as a sort of recording angel of the Athenian golden age. The other, Polymides, was long Alcibiades' right-hand man, yet is now imprisoned for his murder.
As they were in his previous novel, Pressfield's battle scenes are extraordinarily vivid and visceral. This time, however, many of these elemental clashes take place on water. "As far as sight could carry, the sea stood curtained with smoke and paved with warcraft. Immediately left, a battleship had rammed one of the vessels in the wall; all three of her banks were backing water furiously, to extract and ram again, while across the breach screamed storms of stones, darts, and brands of such density that the air appeared solid with steel and flame."
In addition to his gift for rendering patriotic gore, the author excels at quieter but no less deadly forms of combat. As Alcibiades' star rises and falls and rises again, we are escorted directly into the snakepit of Athenian realpolitik. Bathing us in the details of a distant era, Pressfield is largely convincing. But it must be said that his diction exhibits a sometimes comical variegation, sliding from Homeric rhetoric to tough-guy speak to the sort of casual Anglicisms we might expect from Evelyn Waugh's far-from-bright young things. No matter. Tides of War conquers by sheer storytelling prowess, reminding us that war was--and is--a highly addictive version of hell. --Darya SilverFrom the Back Cover:
Praise for Tides of War:
"Pressfield's attention to historic detail is exquisite, but he shines brightest in his graphic and brutal descriptions of battle and its horrific affects on soldier and civilian alike. This novel will remain with the reader long after the final chapter is finished."
"Pressfield is a masterful storyteller, especially adept in his graphic and embracing descriptions of the land and naval battles, political intrigues and colorful personalities, which come together in an intense and credible portrait of war-torn Greece."
"On every page are color, splendor, sorrow, the unforgiving details of battle, daily life, and of the fighter's lot. Unabashedly brilliant, epic, intelligent, and moving."
"As he did in Gates of Fire...Pressfield serves up not just hair-raising battle scenes...but many moments of valor and valor and cowardice, lust and bawdy humor. Even more impressively, he delivers a nuanced portrait of ancient Athens, complete with political skullduggery, overarching ambitions, and reflections on the nature of leadership and the pitfalls of imperialism."
Praise for Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae
"Pressfield's powerful, historically accurate novel explores Spartan society and the nature of courage without ever losing its narrative momentum."
--The New Yorker
"A first-rate storyteller with a first-rate story to tell. It is truly epic."
--Margaret George, author of The Memoirs of Cleopatra
"Intricate and arresting and, once begun, almost impossible to put down."
--New York Daily News
"Pressfield brings the battle of Thermopylae to brilliant life, and he does for that war what Charles Frazier did for the Civil War in Cold Mountain."
"Fascinating and exciting...worthy of the top prizes in literature."
"A tale worthy of Homer, a timeless epic of man and war exquisitely researched and boldly written. Pressfield has created a new classic deserving of a place beside the very best of the old."
"An incredibly gripping, moving, and literate work of art."
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Descrizione libro Doubleday, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0385492529
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition. Codice libro della libreria 36SEQU000LEX
Descrizione libro Doubleday, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0385492529
Descrizione libro Doubleday, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110385492529