Non-Book Review: Before & After Alexander

Before & After Alexander:  The Legend And Legacy Of Alexander The Great, by Richard A. Billows

Sometimes I go seeking out for books to review, and sometimes I am sought out to review books, and this book is definitely an example of the latter situation.  Recently the editor of H-War sought me out as a potential reviewer of this book, in large part because I had previously reviewed a book on the aftermath of the conquest of the Greek world for them and that has set me out as a bit of an expert on the history of the Hellenistic period [1].  I’m certainly fine with being considered as such, but it does make the review of this book certainly an interesting one and perhaps a more stressful one than most of my reviews will be.  As the book has not been read yet, we will leave the stress of the book to come to the side and examine what made me particularly enthusiastic to read the book even if I knew that reviewing it would be a bit stressful.

What is striking about this book, at least as far as I can tell it from my initial examination of it and its contents, is that the book focuses mostly on the context and legacy of Alexander the Great and not so much on his life and conquests itself.  To be sure, it includes a summary of that rather dramatic life, but in the main it appears that this book is most interested in looking at Macedonia before the time of Alexander, especially in the change of Macedonian fortunes that took place under the wise and powerful rule of his father Philip, and in the legacy of Greek rule over the Near East during the period of Alexander’s successors who fought over his body and over the conquests his army had made like quarreling multiple heads of the same winged leopard, with immensely destructive results for the people in those lands and for the viability of the regimes of the successors themselves who fell to a variety of empires like the Pathans, Parthians, and Romans.  At any rate, this book looks like a fun one to read and I am definitely enthusiastic about adding it to my library.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, History, Military History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Non-Book Review: Before & After Alexander

  1. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Reblogged this on James' Ramblings.

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