Rick's Reviews > A War Like No Other: How the Athenians & Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War

A War Like No Other by Victor Davis Hanson
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's review
Jan 10, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in September, 2007

This was a book I was greatly looking forward to reading when it first came out. I waited some time to get it and then to read it and it didn’t quite live up to the anticipation. It’s a military history by a widely-respected expert and quite a serviceable read, not fully engrossing but good enough. Applications to modern times—references to terrorism as a method, not an enemy—are useful reminders of true conservative thinking. Hanson is a smart writer and I’d be interested in other books he’s written on the ancient world. A War Like No Other is a very good companion book to Thucydides and to Donald Kagan’s work. Hanson can put you inside the combat, on land or sea, the besieged cities and towns, the minds of the strategists and conspirators. He points out the brutal, even self-destructive accountability of the Athenian democracy, an extreme contrast to the total lack of the accountability in the administration of our war in Iraq. He uses the literature of ancient Greece, particularly the work of historians, philosophers, and the great playwrights to illuminate, not decorate, his account.

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