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The Ambiguity of Greatness


Guy Rogers (View Bio)
Hardcover: Random House, 2004.


Who was Alexander the Great? Alexander has since served to symbolize everything — from the son of God to a genocidal maniac, from Jesus to Hitler — for successive generations of historians who have used his story to shed light on their times, molding Alexander as an image to celebrate, or to ridicule, depending on the narrative fashions of the day. Based on the ancient sources for Alexander's life and times, this book will situate Alexander and his deeds firmly in his own world.

"This thorough and deeply researched book is very welcome. Guy Rogers gives us, too, the astonishing and highly important relevance, to our whole history, including recent times, of this almost incredible career. Read it and think!" — Robert Conquest, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of THE GREAT TERROR

"Rogers's ALEXANDER is a learned and judicious essay about a man who became a myth in his lifetime and remains partly mythical today in spite of the best efforts of generations of scholars to interpret and reinterpret surviving ancient texts about him. Certainty on many points will never be possible; but reading what Rogers has to say about how Alexander changed the world around him and how his deeds still echo among us is a delightful exercise. Alexander modeled himself on Homer's heroes and actually joined their company as no one else ever managed to do." — William H. McNeill, Professor Emeritus in History, University of Chicago, and author of THE RISE OF THE WEST

"An engaging and inviting read.... [An] enlightening book." — Houston Chronicle

"A very absorbing recent book." — Christopher Hitchens, Slate

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