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The War That Killed Achilles


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About the Author

Caroline Alexander has written for The New Yorker, Granta, Conde Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, Outside, and National Geographic and is the author of four previous books.


Alexander, a professional writer who has been published in Granta, The New Yorker, and National Geographic, holds a Ph.D. in classics from Columbia University. Her new book explores her deep fascination with Homer's Iliad. Essentially, she offers an extended discussion of the plot, elaborating and contextualizing it by reference to extant fragments from other epics and other ancient texts and archaeological and historical evidence. She also relates the resonances of The Iliad in the modern world, from Muhammad Ali's refusal to serve in the Vietnam War to the account of an American war widow responding to the death of her husband in Iraq. Verdict Alexander's book is vigorous and deeply learned yet unpedantic. Highly recommended to general readers interested in a full appreciation of the power and the enduring relevance of The Iliad.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"In her spectacular and constantly surprising new book, Caroline Alexander has taken the 'original' war book and turned it upside down, making it, as all wars are, an excruciating story of loss...The War that Killed Achilles is a triumph."
-Ken Burns

"This riveting tale of ancient wars, legendary warriors, and mythical gods is at once a great adventure story and a cautionary tale of the enduring perils of hubris and ego. Achilles' life and death are instructive lessons for all of us today."
-Tom Brokaw

"Spirited and provocative...a nobly bold even rousing venture...it would be hard to find a faster, livelier, more compact introduction to such a great range of recent Iliadic explorations."
-Steve Coates, The New York Times

"Penetrating...reflecting her own skills [Alexander] provides her own translation of an entire chapter...a real bonus for the reader, comparing favorably with Lattimore and Fagles."
-Boston Globe

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