The War That Killed Achilles

The War That Killed Achilles

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

Book - 2009
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Many have forgotten that the subject of the "Iliad" was war--not merely the poetical romance of the war at Troy, but war, in all its enduring devastation. This groundbreaking reading of Homer's epic poem restores the poet's vision of the tragedy of war, addressing many of the central questions that define the war experience of every age.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Viking, c2009
ISBN: 9780670021123
Branch Call Number: 883.01 A375w 2009
Characteristics: xix, 296 p. : map ; 24 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.

Oct 12, 2011

This was an interesting read.

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.

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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