The Lost Book of Alexander the Great

Andrew Young. Westholme, $26 (240p) ISBN 978-1-59416-197-1
A book about a lost book, Young’s work diligently recounts the History of Alexander’s Conquests of Ptolemy Lagides, a Macedonian officer who accompanied Alexander the Great during his conquests and who was later to lead the city of Alexandria in its triumph after Alexander’s death. Young’s text is an important addition to the historic saga, particularly because Ptolemy’s is the only recoverable text in that earlier time period. Young reveals the layers of Ptolemy’s personal biases and gains, making for an interesting treatment. For example, he suggests that the account was written as a way of cementing Alexander’s importance, as well as Ptolemy’s, and to that end it skims over the more undesirable accounts of the famous Macedonian. Of note is Young’s description of the Library at Alexandra and its splendor, including it as a reference for when Ptolemy’s work was written. A book for the general reader particularly interested in literary forensics and battle strategy, the text gives a comprehensive analysis of Alexander’s years in expansion. Unfortunately, Young has a difficult time bridging the gap between the two interests, and readers, depending on their preference, may find sections tedious. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 248 pages - 978-1-59416-378-4
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