The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War

The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War

Paperback New History of the Peloponnesian War

By (author) Donald M. Kagan

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  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 440 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 28mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 31 August 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Ithaca
  • ISBN 10: 0801495563
  • ISBN 13: 9780801495564
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: 1st New edition
  • Sales rank: 313,117

Product description

The first volume of Donald Kagan's acclaimed four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War offers a new evaluation of the origins and causes of the conflict, based on evidence produced by modern scholarship and on a careful reconsideration of the ancient texts. He focuses his study on the question: Was the war inevitable, or could it have been avoided?Kagan takes issue with Thucydides' view that the war was inevitable, that the rise of the Athenian Empire in a world with an existing rival power made a clash between the two a certainty. Asserting instead that the origin of the war "cannot, without serious distortion, be treated in isolation from the internal history of the states involved," Kagan traces the connections between domestic politics, constitutional organization, and foreign affairs. He further examines the evidence to see what decisions were made that led to war, at each point asking whether a different decision would have been possible.

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Review quote

"The temptation to acclaim Kagan's four volumes as the foremost work of history produced in North America in the twentieth century is vivid. . . . Here is an achievement that not only honors the criteria of dispassion and of unstinting scruple which mark the best of modern historicism but honors its readers. To read Kagan's 'History of the Peloponnesian War' at the present hour is to be almost unbearably tested." George Steiner, The New Yorker (reviewing the four-volume series)"