Tides of War

  • by Steven Pressfield
  • Narrated by Derek Jacobi
  • 7 hrs and 0 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One man. Two armies. The fate of the ancient world in the balance. If history is the biography of extraordinary men, the life of Alcibiades (451 - 404 B.C.) comprises an indispensable chapter in the chronicle of the Western world. Kinsman of Pericles, protégé of Socrates, Alcibiades was acknowledged the most brilliant and charismatic personality of his day. Plutarch, Plato, and Thucydides have all immortalized him. As the pride of Achilles drove the course of the Trojan War, so Alcibiades' will and ambition set their stamp upon the Peloponnesian War - the 27-year civil conflagration between the Athenian empires, Sparta, and the Peloponnesian League. As a commander on land and sea, Alcibiades was never defeated. The destinies of Athens and her favored son were inextricably intertwined. Allied, they swept from victory to victory. Apart, he guided her foes to glory. Of the spell Alcibiades cast over his contemporaries, Aristophanes wrote that Athens "loves, and hates, and cannot do without him." To the end, their renown and ruin were indissoluble. Recounted by Alcibiades' captain of marines in a mesmerizing death-row confession, Tides of War is historical fiction at its finest.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A master storyteller

Steven Pressfield is better known for another great story, The Legend of Bagger Vance. In Tides of War, Pressfield also shows that he is a masterful storyteller, with history, characters, plots and sub-plots all entertwined but all progressing throughout the story.
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- Robert

Good, but doesn't sparkle.

Pressfield writes well and researches professionally. "Gates of Fire", the book before this one (though not necessary to read first) cracked with an energy that "Tides of War" never quite achieves. This book is interesting in its exploration of the wide canvas that was the Peleponisian (sp?) War, and of the character of Alcibiades, who, thorough cunning and generalship, fought for all three sides in the 30-year conflict, making each love him and despise him. However, the narrative device of telling the story through the remove of not one but two recollections tends to make the story less urgent and more "historical" feeling, rather than "immediate drama". While I loved the setting and the details of the story, I found it was easy to hit the "pause" button whenever something else called my attention. If you liked "Gates of War" this book might indeed be for you, although I wonder if it isn't better read than listened to. Those who like military themes, historical narratives and anything having to do with Ancient Greece will enjoy this book.
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- Matthew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-01-2000
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio