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Tides of War

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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  3,219 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
Four cassettes, 6 hours
Read by Derek Jacobi

Plutarch, Plato, and Thucydides have all immortalized Alcibiades (ca. 450-404 b.c.) as a peerless general and conqueror on sea and land, whom the tides of war and fortune always favored. Raised as a ward of Pericles, he was later a protégé of Socrates, and inevitably compared to the legendary Achilles. The destinies of Alcibiades
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Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published April 4th 2000 by Random House Audio (first published 2000)
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Michael Jordan Historian here, let me start by saying that the Greeks were polytheistic. However many city states were dedicated to one (sometimes two) god(s).…moreHistorian here, let me start by saying that the Greeks were polytheistic. However many city states were dedicated to one (sometimes two) god(s). Likewise individuals favored some gods more than others and would beseech that God. This can appear monotheistic at times.
Also when dealing with a specific domain, say war, it is usual that that individual God whom resides over the subject is given primacy.

P.s: please overlook any spelling and grammatical errors as this was written on my kindle fire whilst traveling on very bumpy roads.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jane
The story is framed by Grandfather Jason's narration. His grandson asks who he thinks is the noblest of the Greeks.
"Alcibiades," Grandfather answers immediately.
Grandson asks who he thinks is his 'most unforgettable character'.
"Polemides, the son of Nicias...the man who assassinated Alcibiades," Grandfather replies.

Thus begins Grandfather's narration, which is italicized. It alternates with Polemides's narration, which is set in a regular serif typeface. Polemides, erstwhile captain of marin
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Stratos
Με 100 σελίδες λιγότερες θα ήταν πολύ καλύτερο.....
Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη
Τι εκπληκτικό ανάγνωσμα! Τι τέλεια ατμόσφαιρα, τι χαρακτήρες, τι πάθος! Και μέσα στις 600 τόσες υπέροχες σελίδες του, μπραφ! σκάει μύτη μία παράγραφος, μία, ανάθεμα το κεφάλι μου, και τα καταστρέφει όλα.

Όταν επί 600 σελίδες η ιστορική σου ακρίβεια είναι απίστευτα λεπτομερής και αποφασίζεις να στριμώξεις ανάμεσά τους έξι σειρές με την πιο απίστευτη μπούρδα που άκουσα ποτέ (κοντολογίς ότι οι Αθηναίοι δεν ήταν αρκετοί για να επανδρώσουν το ναυτικό τους, αλλά δεν πειράζει γιατί υπάρχουν τόσοι εξαιρε
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Carol Storm
Mar 29, 2011 Carol Storm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is an inspiring book. It's also a great big sloppy train wreck of a book!

Normally it's fun to trash a book as awful as this one, but TIDES OF WAR is a very special case. Steven Pressfield wrote GATES OF FIRE first, and it's a classic. GATES OF FIRE is all about Spartans, while TIDES OF WAR is all about Athenians. It's not hard to see why a conservative Vietnam War veteran like Pressfield intuitively grasps Spartan discipline and totally fails to capture the greatness of Athenian democracy.
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Ben
Jan 10, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This requires one to be a little bit of a history geek. It's an epic set in the Peloponnesian War. The narration style can be a bit confusing, and some momentum is lost by the end, but the characters are intriguing, and Pressfield's writing style falls somewhere comfortably between classical and modern. The chapter detailing the disastrous Athenian invasion of Sicily is mesmerizing, and pretty much worth the whole read.
Clif Hostetler
Mar 13, 2008 Clif Hostetler rated it it was amazing
Tides of War is a good historical novel. However, it's for readers that can tolerate a complex narrative that describes events over the 27 year span of the Peloponnesian War (431 to 404 BCE). The story is told through three narrators; a man interviewing his grandfather Jason who in turn was a lawyer who many years earlier represented Polymides who was a close confidant of Alcibiades. In other words, it's a description of an interview in which an older person is describing earlier conversations w ...more
Troy
Dec 11, 2010 Troy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bought this at a library cast-off yard sale, thinking it would fit into my genre of historical fiction which I can both enjoy and learn something from - however unlike most of that type of novel I've read, I knew almost nothing about the subject (the Peloponnesian Wars), having only covered it briefly in high-school history as another example of Sparta vs. Athens.

And at first, I thought I'd made a big mistake - it was a very slow start, with cumbersome language, difficult names of both people an
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Bettie☯
mp3

Read by George Guidell.

Peloponnesian Wars = Athens v Peloponnesian League fronted by Sparta



Starring Alcebiades on Death Row: From wiki: c. 450–404 BC), was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician...

...he was a tricky custome
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Booknblues
Nov 05, 2012 Booknblues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steven Pressfield tells the story of the heroes of war in ancient Greece with considerable skill and a sense for the detail and ambiance of the time in his book Tides of War. The story is told by Jason, who is defending both Socrates and Polemides, the man who is accused of murdering Alcibiades.
In many ways this tragic story is one of great insight regarding the role heroes of the day play in our lives. Alcibiades, a leading general of Greece, was vastly influential in the tides of the Peloponne
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Ifor
Nov 26, 2014 Ifor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me quite a while to work out whether I liked this book or not. Certainly the pace is slower than Pressfield's epic "Gates of fire", but that in itself is no major issue. Tales worth retelling have their own pace and rhythm and should not, therefore, be rushed.

POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING
Historical fiction is a genre plagued by spoilers. There is no mystery to the outcome of the Pelopponesian war or fate of Athens. Likewise, the rises and falls of Alcibiades' star will not prove mysterious to
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Briana Patterson
I may pick up this book again sometime. It doesn't seem bad. Rather, it's just very daunting. This book was one of the many we could pick off of a reading list for my college history class. The professor justified assigning this fictional story because it has a great amount of detail invested in what Greek culture, military and the experience of her people was like with incredible accuracy. And she's right. It's excellent in that regard.

What this book isn't for is the layman. It's incredible amo
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Eleni
Oct 04, 2016 Eleni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most loved and hated at the same time personalities of Ancient Athens, Alcibiades, is the main character of this book. A great leader with great ambition. The book is fast paced and describes in an enjoyable manner the character of this man and his "achievements" through the "eyes" of his friend and co-warrior. It also provides a good context which help us understand why Athenians both hated and loved Alcibiades. And as Steven Pressfield always does even the fictional characters and e ...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
Αυτό το βιβλίο είχα την εντύπωση ότι ήταν μια περιγραφή της πορείας του Αλκιβιάδη σε πρώτο πρόσωπο. Όταν κατάλαβα ότι δεν ήταν κάτι τέτοιο απογοητεύτηκα λίγο και η συνέχεια του βιβλίου μάλλον δεν με αποζημίωσε επαρκώς. Παρ' όλα αυτά η μέσω τρίτων αφήγηση της πορείας του Αλκιβιάδη καταφέρνει να δημιουργεί μια σχεδόν ολοκληρωμένη αφήγηση και μια μυθιστορηματική σκιαγράφηση του χαρακτήρα του, ενώ η έξοχη απόδοση της εποχής - παρά τις διάφορες υπερβολές - και οι συναρπαστικές περιγραφές των μαχών σώ ...more
Paul Downs
Aug 22, 2016 Paul Downs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pressfield is a phenomenal writer. I'm re-reading this, and it holds up well 20 years after my first encounter. The story is eerily relevant - rich, charismatic Svengali talks Athens into some very poorly thought out adventures, and the little people pay the price. Remind you of anyone?
Jenn Sprinkel
It moves too slowly for me and I lose interest too quickly. I think I started reading this book a few years ago. I put it down after a few chapters and haven't picked it back up. I still look at it from time to time, but rather read something else...
Kiwi
I can honestly say that I gave the book a fair chance but I'm not likely to finish it, so there it is: a DNF. Utter disappointment after Gates of Fire.
Αδαμάντιος
Πολύ παραστατικό. Δίνει με έναν δικό του τρόπο την Ιστορία του Θουκυδίδη. Συμπυκώνει πολύ πετυχημένα τριάντα χρόνια πολέμου.
Michael de Percy
Feb 08, 2017 Michael de Percy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-reviewed
Pressfield is hard to fault in this historical fiction centred around the Athenian general Alcibiades. If I have any criticism, it is of the format, where one narrator is written entirely in italics for pages at a time, and the reader must be constantly on guard to remember which narrator is at work, and to plow through the italicised text without giving up in despair. I was fortunate to have read Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War before reading Tides of War, and this work fills in ma ...more
Kaity
Aug 09, 2014 Kaity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steven Pressfield’s "Tides of War" is an excellent novel. The book is well written and the world that Pressfield creates within the book’s pages is populated by fascinating men and events. The narrative drives relentlessly forward, plunging the reader head-long into one of the most violent struggles ever witnessed. This tale is not for the faint of heart.
Easily, Pressfield is at his best when describing combat. His description of Mantinea, as well as the telling of the night assault on Epipolae
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Nicolas
Aug 12, 2014 Nicolas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steven Pressfield’s "Tides of War" is an excellent novel. The book is well written and the world that Pressfield creates within the book’s pages is populated by fascinating men and events. The narrative drives relentlessly forward, plunging the reader head-long into one of the most violent struggles ever witnessed. This tale is not for the faint of heart.
Easily, Pressfield is at his best when describing combat. His description of Mantinea, as well as the telling of the night assault on Epipolae
...more
Jeff
Mar 12, 2008 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. Also as a warning it is mostly told from a soldier's point of view and has all of the attendant language that you would expect from a soldier. But I really enjoyed this book. It is the story of the Peloponnesian War, the 27 year war between Sparta and Athens and specifically about the Athenian General Alcibiades. The story is told by one Jason who was a student of Socrates and a leading figure in Athenian political life who was also somewhat of ...more
Robert LoCicero
Sometimes you just have to keep at it. In today's world of "bling" images many of our traditional more basic senses have been anesthestized. One of them has been the ability to concentrate and turn written words into fantastic mental images and create goose bumps or strike a concordance with an inner thought or emotion we have. I am sorry that the other two reviewers did not find this author's literary effort up to the task of getting them interested. Mr. Pressfield is a brillant writer whose re ...more
Ezra Hood
May 30, 2012 Ezra Hood rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western-civ
So nobody bats 1.000; Pressfield here tries to do more than one volume can accomplish. One of the virtues of his other books about Greek wars is that their pages turn themselves-- I think largely because those more successful novels address a single battle or campaign; their contour is simple, perceptible, and managed beautifully.

Of course the Peloponnesian War was not like that, and perhaps it defies so compact a treatment.

Other elements that we value in Pressfield's books are present-- the na
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Cornapecha
May 20, 2016 Cornapecha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un buen libro de novela histórica, como cabría esperar de un gran escritor como Pressfield. Dicen que Vientos de guerra es su novela más lograda, la más redonda. Yo no me atrevería a afirmar tanto, pero es un gran libro. Pressfield tiene conocimientos históricos y habilidad narrativa, lo que unido a lo espectacular de sus protagonistas le asegura el éxito. Además tiene la virtud de que el narrador parece ser realmente un griego del año 400 a.c. Y eso no es fácil, la mayoría de narradores de nove ...more
Samantha
Jul 27, 2008 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs, lovers of historical fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason
Feb 10, 2017 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set against the backdrop of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens, this story revolves around the fascinating historical figure Alcibiades. A gifted, inspiring general, politician, and orator, Alcibiades managed to switch allegiances from Athens to Sparta to Persia and back to Athens throughout the conflict, proving that someone will always want your services if you're good. While not as gripping as the author's prior book "Gates of Fire" (which I *highly* recommend), this is an entert ...more
Curtiss
This is the story of the epic struggled between Athens and Sparta for control of the Helenic world; as told through the reminiscences of a warrior who had attended the Athenian General Alcibiades throughout the "thrice nine years" of the Peloponnessian War, as he awaited his trial and execution for the assassination of Alcibiades at the same time as Socrates awaited his own death in accordance with the will of the people of Athens.

A scathing indictment of democracy embodied in the will of the ma
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Wade
Dec 31, 2015 Wade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fascinating and really opened my eyes to the vastness of Greek history of which I am quite ignorant. Upon completion I am now hungry to understand more of the historical background to this novel. The character of Alcibiades, if not historical, would have been totally unbelievable! He is such a dynamic character that it is difficult to believe in the veracity of his existence and I am amazed that he is not a more notorious historical figure.

This book challenged my understanding of h
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Greg Pettit
The subtitle of the novel says it all-- a tale of the war between Greece and Sparta, and the great leader Alcibiades.

The novel is told by two narrator. The first is Jason, an old man reflecting on the time he represented a man condemned for killing Alcibiades. The second is Polemides, that condemned man, who tells his life story and of fighting in famous battles under Alcibiades. This nesting narrative is not as confusing as it might sound, and many times it goes even deeper, as one narrator ret
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Richard
Oct 10, 2007 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction, military history, ancient history
Steven Pressfield is the master of Ancient Greek historical fiction. In his second book about the Greeks, he offers an account of the enigmatic Alkibiades (aka Alcibiades).

Told through the eyes of his assassin and assassin's lawyer, Pressfield captures, in my view, what Alkibiades must have been like. Alkibiades was known to have been the most handsome, charismatic, daring, and popular Athenian leader after the death of his relative Perikles. Despite his obvious patriotism and love for his city,
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867
I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943 to a Navy father and mother.

I graduated from Duke University in 1965.

In January of 1966, when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly-minted Marine, I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure. "No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, no one can ever send me back to this freakin' place a
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“Cousin, the days of gods and heroes are over."
"Not to me. Not to them.”
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