Nikos Kazantzakis is no stranger to the heroes of Greek antiquity. In this historical novel based on the life of Alexander the Great, Kazantzakis has drawn on both the rich tradition of Greek legend and the documented manuscripts from the archives of history to recreate an Alexander in all his many-faceted images—Alexander the god; Alexander the descendant of Heracles performing the twelve labors; Alexander the mystic, the daring visionary destined to carry out a divine mission; Alexander the flesh-and-blood mortal who, on occasion, is not above the common soldier’s brawling and drinking.
The novel, which resists the temptation to portray Alexander in the mantle of purely romantic legend, covers his life from age fifteen to his death at age thirty-two. It opens with Alexander’s first exploit, the taming of the horse, Bucephalas, and is seen in great part through the eyes of his young neighbor who eventually becomes an officer in his army and follows him on his campaign to conquer the world.
The book, which was written primarily as an educational adjunct for young readers, is intended for the adult mind as well, and like the legends of old, is entertaining as well as instructive for readers of all ages. It was originally published in Greece in serial form in 1940, and was republished in a complete volume in 1979.
Alfred the Great
Daniel Anlezark Arc Humanities Press, 2017 Library of Congress DA153.A55 2017 | Dewey Decimal 942.0164
Alfred the Great is a rare historical figure from the early Middle Ages, in that he retains a popular image. This image increasingly suffers from the dead white male syndrome, exacerbated by Alfred's association with British imperialism and colonialism, so this book provides an accessible reassessment of the famous ruler of Wessex, informed by current scholarship, both on the king as a man in history, and the king as a subsequent legendary construct.Daniel Anlezark presents Alfred in his historical context, seen through Asser's Life, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, and other texts associated with the king. The book engages with current discussions about the authenticity of attributions to Alfred of works such as the Old English Boethius and Soliloquies, and explores how this ninth-century king of Wessex came to be considered the Great king of legend.
Filled with drama and action, here is the story of the ninth-century life and times of Alfred—warrior, conqueror, lawmaker, scholar, and the only king whom England has ever called "The Great." Based on up-to-date information on ninth-century history, geography, philosophy, literature, and social life, it vividly presents exciting views of Alfred in every stage of his long career and leaves the reader with a sharply-etched picture of the world of the Middle Ages.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of the better known and most successful of the New Deal programs following the Great Depression. The causes of the Great Depression have been addressed and debated from a variety of perspectives through the years. However, the effects explained in terms of human suffering leave little room for debate. By March of 1933, there were more than 13.6 million unemployed, and more than 200,000 of them were wandering the country looking for work. Homes and families were fractured. President Roosevelt proposed to put 500,000 unemployed men from cities and towns into the woods to plant trees, reduce fire hazards, clear streams, check erosion, and improve the park system all across America. With unprecedented speed, national legislation was written, passed, and funded, creating a myriad of programs—referred to as alphabet projects—in hopes of generating useful work and necessary paychecks and creating a “great and lasting good” for the American public.
CCC projects in Alabama would initially employ 20,000 men with projects in all 13 state forests and seven state parks. This volume traces in great detail the work projects, the camp living conditions, the daily lives of the enrollees, the administration and management challenges, and the lasting effects of this Neal Deal program in Alabama. Through archives, government documents, and more than 125 interviews with former enrollees of the CCC, Pasquill has recounted the CCC program in Alabama and brought this humanitarian program to life in the Alabama countryside. It was a truly monumental win-win situation emerging from a national and international economic tragedy.
Cyrus the Great re-contextualizes Cyrus’s epoch in light of recent scholarship. Themes include: Mesopotamian antecedents of his religious policy, the idiosyncratic genesis of Persian imperial art; Babylonian exile and the Bible; Hellenistic and Arsacid genealogical constructs; and his enigmatic evanescence in Sasanian and Muslim traditions.
Though Alexander the Great lived more than seventeen centuries before the onset of Iberian expansion into Muslim Africa and Asia, he loomed large in the literature of late medieval and early modern Portugal and Spain. Exploring little-studied chronicles, chivalric romances, novels, travelogues, and crypto-Muslim texts, Vincent Barletta shows that the story of Alexander not only sowed the seeds of Iberian empire but foreshadowed the decline of Portuguese and Spanish influence in the centuries to come.
Death in Babylon depicts Alexander as a complex symbol of Western domination, immortality, dissolution, heroism, villainy, and death. But Barletta also shows that texts ostensibly celebrating the conqueror were haunted by failure. Examining literary and historical works in Aljamiado, Castilian, Catalan, Greek, Latin, and Portuguese, Death in Babylon develops a view of empire and modernity informed by the ethical metaphysics of French phenomenologist Emmanuel Levinas. A novel contribution to the literature of empire building, Death in Babylon provides a frame for the deep mortal anxiety that has infused and given shape to the spread of imperial Europe from its very beginning.
A Great and Monstrous Thing offers a street-level view of eighteenth-century London, a city of grandeur and glitter, squalor and poverty, risen from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed half its homes and great public buildings. What emerges is a society fractured by geography, politics, religion, history—and especially by class.
A Great and Wretched City
Mark Jurdjevic Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DG736.3.M333J87 2014 | Dewey Decimal 945.506
Dispelling the myth that Florentine politics offered only negative lessons, Mark Jurdjevic shows that significant aspects of Machiavelli's political thought were inspired by his native city. Machiavelli's contempt for Florence's shortcomings was a direct function of his considerable estimation of the city's unrealized political potential.
A Reconstruction of Ptolemy I’s History of Alexander’s Conquests, a Primary Source Cited in Later Books That Disappeared More Than One Thousand Years Ago
Alexander the Great is well known as one of the first great empire builders of the ancient world. Among those fellow Macedonian officers who accompanied Alexander in his epic conquests from Greece to India was Ptolemy Lagides. Ptolemy served alongside Alexander from the Persian defeat at the Battle of Issus in modern-day Turkey and the journey to find the oracle that proclaimed Alexander to be Zeus incarnate, to the Battle of the Hydaspes River in 326 BC that opened India to the West. Following Alexander’s death, Ptolemy gained control of Egypt where he founded the dynasty in his name, created the great library of Alexandria, and was patron of the mathematician Euclid. Sometime during his rule in Egypt, Ptolemy wrote a history of Alexander’s conquests. Although it is probable that Ptolemy enhanced his own importance, sources indicate that it was regarded as an accurate and even-handed account of the campaigns of Alexander. However, Ptolemy’s book was lost—perhaps with the destruction of the library he founded—and not even an original fragment has survived. His book, however, was acknowledged as a primary source of information for later Roman historians.
In The Lost Book of Alexander the Great, Andrew Young explores the world of ancient writings about the Macedonian leader in order to determine whether any of Ptolemy’s writings can be recovered. Inspired by Stephen Greenblatt’s distinguished biography of Shakespeare, Will in the World, and written for the general reader, the author uses literary forensics to suggest which parts of later books about Alexander the Great, most notably the account by Arrian of Nicomedia, might be the words of Ptolemy. In addition to separating later Roman sensibilities from the original Greek of Ptolemy, the author re-creates the famous library of Alexandria, and takes the reader along on Alexander’s conquests as closely as we can to how Ptolemy may have recounted them.
Many books chronicle the remarkable life of Russian tsar Peter the Great, but none analyze how his famous reforms actually took root and spread in Russia. By century's end, Russia was poised to play a critical role in the Napoleonic wars and boasted an elite culture about to burst into its golden age. In The Revolution of Peter the Great, James Cracraft offers a brilliant new interpretation of this pivotal era.
The myths of settlement of the Great Plains usually conjure up images of Anglo-American pioneers moving into a sea of grass, opposed by Native peoples. Such myths leave out the considerable influence of Spain. Spain and the Plains corrects this error, revealing the Plains as a northern frontier of New Spain, a frontier antedating the northern European presence in North America, and a frontier where Spanish and Native peoples met, clashed, and blended.
Spain and the Plains introduces and documents Spanish exploration of and migration to the Plains, examines the myths that shaped Spanish exploration and the pragmatic realities of exploration and settlement, and documents racism and misrepresentation that Hispanic groups encountered in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Contributors show how early explorers, shaped by the intellectual context of the Renaissance, sought mythical locales: the fountain of youth, the straits of Anian, and the city of Quivira. They describe how exploration shifted to emphasize military and economic gains in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Essays portray the diaspora of Spanish settlers and reconstruct daily life in their settlements on the Plains.
This unique collection paints a clear picture of a crucial but often misrepresented and neglected era in American and Spanish history.
The editors, all authors of previous books, are affiliated with the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where Frances W. Kaye is a professor of English, John R. Wunder is a professor of history and journalism, and Ralph H. Vigil is a professor emeritus of history and ethnic studies. Contributors include Félix D. Almaráz Jr., Thomas E. Chávez, Frances W. Kaye, Russell M. Magnaghi, Ralph H. Vigil, Waldo R. Wedel, and John R. Wunder.
“This memoir illuminates key aspects of the war experience: the enthusiasm for fighting, tensions with officers, tedium with regard to noncombatant work, the variety of trench experiences, the sharp learning curve that the army underwent on the ground, and the confusing nature of combat for ground troops. As the centennial of the war approaches this well-annotated memoir that connects Patterson’s individual experiences to the larger U.S. experience of the war will appeal to general readers and specialists alike.” —Jennifer D. Keene, author of World War I: The American Soldier Experience
A journalist once called Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson “the toughest man in Washington” for his fervid efforts in managing U.S. mobilization in World War II. The World War I Memoirs of Robert P. Patterson: A Captain in the Great War recounts Patterson’s own formative military experiences in the First World War.
Written in the years following the conflict, this is a remarkable rendering of what it was like to be an infantry line officer during the so-called Great War. Patterson started his military career as a twenty-seven-year-old, barely-trained captain in the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.). He was part of the 306th Infantry Regiment of New York’s famous 77th “Statue of Liberty” Division from July to November 1918. In this detailed account, Patterson describes in understated yet vivid prose just how raw and unprepared American soldiers were for the titanic battles on the Western Front. Patterson downplays his near-death experience in a fierce firefight that earned him and several of his men from Company F the Distinguished Service Cross. His depiction of the brutal Meuse-Argonne battle is haunting—the drenching cold rains, the omnipresent barbed wire, deep fog-filled ravines, the sweet stench of mustard gas, chattering German machine-guns, crashing artillery shells, and even a rare hot meal to be savored.
Dealing with more than just combat, Patterson writes of the friendships and camaraderie among the officers and soldiers of different ethnic and class backgrounds who made up the “melting pot division” of the 77th. He betrays little of the postwar disillusionment that afflicted some members of the “Lost Generation.”Editor J. Garry Clifford’s introduction places Patterson and his actions in historical context and illuminates how Patterson applied lessons learned from the GreatWar to his later service as assistant secretary, under secretary, and secretary of war from 1940 to 1947.
J. Garry Clifford, a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut, is the coauthor of America Ascendant: American Foreign Relations since 1939 and The First Peacetime Draft, as well as the coeditor of Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals.