Alexander's Biography Beautifully Narrated
3 March, 2014
I would say that this is the best book that I have read up to date in this year. The author was quite successful in bringing about the chronological events of Alexander, right from his birth to his death, in very simple English, that could be understood by people who yearn to learn about history, across the world.
Alexander (B.C., 356-336), son of King Philip of Macedonia, the northern province of the then Grecian territory, has been a prodigal son right from his childhood. He was under the able tutorship of Aristotle until the age of sixteen, but soon took keen interest in accompanying his father, in wars. His inborn traits of leadership, camaraderie, nobleness, organizing skills, ferociousness, and great thirst to conquer the world has made him one of the greatest warriors of ancient history, which is narrated in every history book of the world with great awe.
He was highly successful in conquering each and every nation in his voyage towards the East of Macedonia, with an army as small as just 50,000. His empire consisted of almost all kingdoms of Thebes, Thessaly, Athens, Sparta, entire Persia, Egypt, Gaza, Tyre, Afghanistan and some parts of northern India. All this, just within the age of 32 years. In his great voyage of ruthless conquests, he plundered each and every kingdom which opposed him but treated all those who surrendered with great nobility and kindness. His main target of capturing his great rival King Darius of Persia could be achieved but he repents later for being responsible for the fall of such a great kingdom. He, over a period of time, when he reached the age of around 28 years, yielded to worldly pleasures like wealth, wine and women which led to his downfall in character and great qualities, for which he was adored, worldwide. At one stage, after conquering Egypt, he even went to the extent of declaring himself as the descendant of God Jupiter and wished to be called as Son of God.
He ultimately loses all his friends and those who accompanied/assisted/protected him throughout his great voyage due to his vices. At one point even his great army refused to go with him further, as they lost confidence in his leadership and nobleness. This morally degraded Alexander to a great extent and he one night, put himself to intense alcohol consumption, after which he falls terribly ill, and dies due to multiple organ failure, and mostly confidence to live further. His vast kingdom broke into pieces of independent kingdoms after his death, only to remember him as the greatest and cruelest thief of the world.
Positives: A great book of knowledge of Alexander’s history, beautifully written, describing each and every phase of his life in minutest of detail. The reader would not like to put off the book until he finishes it at one go. The adventures of young Alexander and his speeches are very enticing to know. One gets to know about many ancient places, towns, cities and terms of history, which are regarded as the marks of great civilizations, wars and kings in those days. A great learning experience to young and old as to how the fire in one’s belly to achieve something can get him to the target with careful and able planning, organizing, directing and controlling ones emotions, skills, environment and resources available to him or her. At the same time, Alexander’s deplorable end teaches one, as to how arrogance and power, can bring him down in no time, however great he could be! A must read by every young person and to get inspired by the magnificent traits of Alexander the Great.
Negatives: The author suddenly ended Alexander’s voyage with the death of King Darius. His further adventures beyond Persia into India were not described. There seemed to be equally interesting and fascinating facts to be revealed in the Indian subcontinent. That would have justified his complete voyage in a single stretch.
My rating is 4.75 out of 5
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