Alexander the Great's campaign in the Afghan kingdoms began in the summer of 330bc. It would last for three brutal years and prove the most difficult he and his army ever fought. Thrilling and urgently-told, "The Afghan Campaign" tells the story of this bloody and ruthless conflict from the perspective of a Macedonian recruit. The youngest of ...
Alexander the Great's campaign in the Afghan kingdoms began in the summer of 330bc. It would last for three brutal years and prove the most difficult he and his army ever fought. Thrilling and urgently-told, "The Afghan Campaign" tells the story of this bloody and ruthless conflict from the perspective of a Macedonian recruit. The youngest of three brothers and eager to prove himself, Matthias has volunteered to join the leader he worships on his ambitious expedition into the unknown, unconquered country we now call Afghanistan. But as he joins the frontline, Matthias begins to realise that the nature of warfare for which he trained has changed irrevocably. The Macedonians face a new kind of enemy - and must learn to fight a new kind of war. Experiencing fear, euphoria, horror and shame, Matthias and his comrades undergo a rite of passage as they, soldiers of a Western force whose code was secular and humanist, struggle to subjugate a fiercely proud Eastern warrior nation of deeply-held beliefs and a passionate willingness to die for their cause. Simply to survive, Alexander's men must shake off the trappings of 'civilization' as they know it and adopt the same unorthodox and barbaric tactics as their foe - but at what cost to their souls and their sanity? Set against the imposing, alien implacability of the Afghan landscape, this powerfully affecting, edge-of-your-seat novel not only demonstrates Steven Pressfield's profound understanding of the hopes and fears of men in battle but also has some important things to say about the nature of wars past...and present.
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This was a very interesting perspective of Alexander the Greats Afgan campaign. It is a great book and I would highly recommend it
Jun 21, 2007
pretty good, but not a classic
As a comparison to the modern military campaign in Asia, the book provides an ominous cautionary tale. It's a decent story and introduces some interesting topics - what happens to men away and family at home during a long campaign, changing loyalties and views of leadership as the original Corps changes, a woman's place in the world, distorted sense of honor, etc. But as a gripping story it doesn't come through. Characters are okay, plot is fine, some segments make you feel the dust of the trail, but overall, it's just not as powerful a story as Pressfield is capable of. Admittedly, this is a very high standard - I think Gates of Fire is one of the best books I've ever read - and I realize it would be very hard for The Afghan Campaign to live up to that high standard, but I think it falls shorter than it should. Afghan Campaign is worth reading, but maybe not re-reading.
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