Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Peloponnesian war

history > lessons
A New Yorker magazine book review, written by Daniel Mendelsohn on Kagan's "Peloponnesian War". This is a wonderful history lesson: an informed and pithy account of the Peloponnesian war, Thucidides' "History" and Euripides' "Medea", debunking, almost in passing, Kagan's very hawkish interpretation of that war and the "lessons" it holds for today, while producing a wonderful, synthetic view of the era and a scholarly approach to its context.
A moving piece, for those with any interest in history: it is an aggressive dismissal of history-as-simple-propaganda, and a shining example of lucid prose.
Online reference: Thucydides' "History", translated in English. Euripides' Medea in English.

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