When I first bought this book I was a little frightened. After all, Thucydides did not write for the common man. I mean a translation of a book from Ancient Greek seemed scary to me. But once I started reading this book the pages whizzed by.The introduction is not hard to read at all and that sets the setting for the book. Strassler excellently summarizes each chapter and makes even the toughest chapters easy to understand. The appendices make the book even easier to understand and comprehend. Thucydides was actually enjoyable. The footnotes were an extra help. Even if you do not get to read everyday, Strassler's book is fun to read. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in ancient history, military history, or any other type of history. Do not be intimidated.
It is hard to imagine, no, I cannot imagine, a clearer, more lucid setting out of a great classic work. Strassler's abundant maps, well-thought-out appendices and helpful footnotes clear the path for the reader through an absolutely gripping, but not always transparent, work. First credit must go, of course, to Thucydides for his monumental effort, his mastery of an enormously complex chronicle of events and his profound insights into the personalities and the political interests which impelled the events of the war. But Strassler has provided the means for any interested amateur reader of history to enjoy fully and at first reading this marvelous epic. This is perhaps the best presentation of a classic work I have ever encountered. Well done!
This is an easy to read translation of the Greek historian. Mr. Strassler has done an A+ job of making the history easy to read. There are many first rate maps of Greece, Sicily and the other areas of the Pelopanessian war. The summaries of each paragraph of the book are brilliant and very clear when Thucydides is not always the easiest to comprehend. If there are any faults to the book they are the faults of Thucydides who is occasionally confusing and disorganized. The essays at the back of the book about Athens and Sparts and their social customs are first rate and very helpful. I enjoyed this book very much and give it the highest recommendation possible.
For those seeking to understand the nature of war and human behavior in war, this is the book to read. The story of greed and ambition - and the adverse effects it can have on policy - threads its way through the book. Thucydides' remark, "I have written this work, not as an essay which is to win applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time" is a very appropriate statement. The eternity of Thucydides' work is evident in the similarities of policy and war today as compared to the author's world. The numerous maps and footnoting within this book, makes it much easier to comprehend than other accounts of the Peloponnesian War.
This is an excellent book, although it is hard to follow. The numerous maps and side bar comments are an enormous help. This book will help the reader learn about war, and the fickle nature of war and leadership in war. Could Athens have won? Yes, but poor leadership and fate decided otherwise. Should Athens have won? The author forces the reader to admit that Athens was not so good and Sparta was not so bad; thus, it is hard for the reader to choose one or the other as a favorite. The real winners were the Persians who carefully kept the war going through various devices. Any reader of ancient history will enjoy this true work of art.
While this book is probably targeted to the college history major just embarking on the study of Thucydides' classic, it serves equally well for that dying breed, the general reader looking for serious but lively narrative history. The introduction, notes, backround information, and maps are all helpful in getting one over one's trepidation in the face of such a daunltess classic. The book is handsomely presented, the print size is thankfully generous (no squinting) and Thucydides is just as profound and eloquent as he was 24 centuries ago. I too hope with a previous reviewer that he is now working on Herodotus.
This is the best way for the non-scholar to approach Thucydides. This volume has it's own built in atlas! Every town,village or city mentioned is indexed with one of the books maps! There's almost a map on every other page. Every reference in the text is explained. The only problem is that all you get is Thucydides. If you want a modern history of this war, get Donald Kagan's history of the Peloponnesian war. It's an excellent history and makes a nice set with The Landmark Thucydides.
In spite of its daunting appearance, I have derived unique enjoyment from reading this edition. There is always a footnote appearing as soon as you feel the need for one; the frequent maps make it a joy to follow the military action; the appendices are a source of referral time and again; and, generally, the attention to detail is simply outstanding. Highly recommended!
Thuycidides claimed to write for posterity and intended to produce "a possession for all time". He succeeded. This edition is a combination of an excellent translation, excellent maps, excellent commentary, and excellent background essays. It will be the standard in English for decades to come.
An excellent translation of a classic work. The maps, images, and background essays make this volume a truly enjoyable read. Once started I found it very difficult to put down. Now if we can only convince Mr. Strassler to do the same for Herodotus.