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Unformatted text preview: The Generalship of Alexander The Great by J.F.C. Fuller is perhaps one of the most accurate depictions of Alexander The Great by a contemporary historian. The reason for this is quite simple. Fuller gathered information from a variety of sources to give the reader not just another "life of " Alexander but to create a truer picture of Alexander. He did this relying on sources such as battle-maps and illustrations in concert with the standard sources and concentrating on the facts of Alexander's Armies and Empire under his command. Fuller states his purpose in his introduction by writing: "I am not called upon to be a Quellenforscher, because the art of war-certainly in its essentials- was the same in Alexander's day as it is now, and this, I hope will become clearly apparent...if I am able to test the credibility of my classical authorities, I am, or should be able by reference to this art to to test the military abilities of Alexander...This does not mean exactness can be guaranteed; but it does mean, so I hold, that once the character and talents of a general have been assessed, his aim and problem fathomed, and the condition in which he waged war appraised, it is possible to arrive at a given set of circumstances even should the date be 2000 BC." (1) The book is broken down into two main bodies. Part one being titled, The Record, which helps insert the reader into the time of Alexander by examining the geography, political structure, and Greek military systems preceding Alexander; also examining the period before and during the reign of his father Phillip II. Part One ends with a brief overview of Alexander's youth and various aspects of him while he grew up which aids the reader in understanding not only his deeds, but a perspective of intimacy with the persona of Alexander. Part two, aptly titled The Analysis, is just that. An intricate (but never boring) analysis of Alexander as a general, and also as a statesman. The latter being refreshingly interesting because this aspect is often neglected when studying Alexander and his accomplishments. Part two also covers Alexander's Battles, Sieges, and Small Wars. Though Part Two is perhaps the more interesting of the two for those who are interested in military history, Alexander's deeds cannot be fully understood without Part One guiding the reader to the reasons for his decisions and attitudes. Also, Fuller ends the book with an epilogue entitled The Value of History which truly helps the student, historian, or even the reader at leisure the importance of understanding Alexander and what he accomplished which was so enormously monumental some 2300 years ago in a place on the other side of the planet. The first chapter of the book is The Background. This chapter is an in-depth and extremely well researched chapter which brings the reader to a complete understanding of what events led up to the phenomenon of Alexander. An interesting portion of this chapter is dedicated to the impact and rise of philosophers having a direct impact on...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGL 220 taught by Professor Blah during the Spring '08 term at CUNY Hunter.
- Spring '08