Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.) ascended to the throne of Macedon at the age of twenty. He fought his greatest battles—including the conquest of the mighty Persian Empire—before he was twenty-five and died at the age of thirty-three, still undefeated by any enemy. His reputation as a supreme warrior and leader of men is unsurpassed in the annals of history.
In the brilliantly imagined first-person voice of Alexander the Great, acclaimed novelist Steven Pressfield brings to life his epic battles, his unerring command of his forces, and the passions and ambitions that drove him. A full-blooded, multidimensional portrait, THE VIRTUES OF WAR captures Alexander’s complex character. Alexander was a fearless commander who moved with such daring and speed that no army could withstand him; a driven leader whose ambitions knew no limits; and a man with boundless compassion for his troops, deep friendships with his generals, and profound respect for his enemies. Yet in the end, his noble qualities were subsumed by his insatiable lust for glory.
No one writes about battles as brilliantly as Pressfield, and in THE VIRTUES OF WAR he vividly describes the seminal conflicts of Alexander’s career, revealing the tactics behind them and capturing the blood, heat, and terror of the battlefield. He follows Alexander’s forces as they faced and defeated armies that far outnumbered them; delivers a thrilling frontline report from Gaugamela, the scene of Alexander’s greatest victory; and, in a memorable vignette, shows the great conqueror finally halted, not by an enemy but by the refusal of his worn-out troops to march any farther.
Epic in scope and magisterial in tone, THE VIRTUES OF WAR is sure to take its place among the classics of historical fiction.