cover image Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography

Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography

Peter Green. University of California Press, $50 (617pp) ISBN 978-0-520-07165-0

Alexander the Great, as portrayed in Green's vibrant, immensely readable biography, was a megalomaniac, a ruthless murderer of civilians, a charmingly persuasive liar who bribed his own troops and a political opportunist supremely indifferent to the idealistic yearnings later ascribed to him. Pulling together circumstantial evidence, Green conjectures that Alexander conspired with his mother, Olympias, in the murder of his father, King Philip II of Macedonia, who was assassinated by a former homosexual lover. History leaps off the page in this passionate narrative. A professor of classics at the University of Texas, Green strips away romantic legends to lay bare an Orwellian tyrant whose unbroken ascent to absolute power led to his estrangement from reality. History Book Club main selection; BOMC alternate. (Aug.)