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The Fall of the Athenian Empire


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About the Author

Donald Kagan is Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University.


"Kagan offers political history at its best. He does a masterful job of laying out the strategic choices confronting ancient Greek statesmen and generals, then explaining why events took the course they did.... Kagan shows a remarkable gift for drawing analogies to more recent wars to illuminate this struggle between ancient great powers. These insightful analogies also help us understand better the imperial rivalries and wars of our own troubled century."

* Orbis *

"With its three predecessors, this volume will long stand as the definitive work on the Peloponnesian War and the nature of the Athenian empire."

* American Historical Review *

"The fourth volume in Kagan's history of ancient Athens, which has been called one of the major achievements of modern historical scholarship, begins with the ill-fated Sicilian expedition of 413 B.C. and ends with the surrender of Athens to Sparta in 404 B.C. Richly documented, precise in detail, it is also extremely well-written, linking it to a tradition of historical narrative that has become rare in our time."

* Virginia Quarterly Review *

"The temptation to acclaim Kagan's four volumes as the foremost work of history produced in North America in the twentieth century is vivid.... Here is an achievement that not only honors the criteria of dispassion and of unstinting scruple which mark the best of modern historicism but honors its readers. To read Kagan's 'History of the Peloponnesian War' at the present hour is to be almost unbearably tested."

-- George Steiner * The New Yorker *

"A profound analysis of the relation of strategy to politics, a sympathetic but searching critique of Thucydides' masterpiece, and a trenchant assessment of the voluminous modern literature on the war."

-- Bernard Knox * The Atlantic Monthly *

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