How to Think about War: An Ancient Guide to Foreign Policy

Princeton University Press
Free sample

An accessible modern translation of essential speeches from Thucydides’s History that takes readers to the heart of his profound insights on diplomacy, foreign policy, and war

Why do nations go to war? What are citizens willing to die for? What justifies foreign invasion? And does might always make right? For nearly 2,500 years, students, politicians, political thinkers, and military leaders have read the eloquent and shrewd speeches in Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War for profound insights into military conflict, diplomacy, and the behavior of people and countries in times of crisis. How to Think about War presents the most influential and compelling of these speeches in an elegant new translation by classicist Johanna Hanink, accompanied by an enlightening introduction, informative headnotes, and the original Greek on facing pages. The result is an ideally accessible introduction to Thucydides’s long and challenging History.

Thucydides intended his account of the clash between classical Greece’s mightiest powers—Athens and Sparta—to be a “possession for all time.” Today, it remains a foundational work for the study not only of ancient history but also contemporary politics and international relations. How to Think about War features speeches that have earned the History its celebrated status—all of those delivered before the Athenian Assembly, as well as Pericles’s funeral oration and the notoriously ruthless “Melian Dialogue.” Organized by key debates, these complex speeches reveal the recklessness, cruelty, and realpolitik of Athenian warfighting and imperialism.

The first English-language collection of speeches from Thucydides in nearly half a century, How to Think about War takes readers straight to the heart of this timeless thinker.

Read more
Collapse

About the author

Johanna Hanink is associate professor of classics at Brown University. Her books include The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity. She lives in Rhode Island. Twitter @johannahan
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Feb 5, 2019
Read more
Collapse
Pages
336
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780691193847
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
History / Military / Ancient
History / Military / General
History / Military / Strategy
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Philosophy / Political
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
'The greatest historian that ever lived' Such was Macaulay's verdict on Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) and his history of the Peloponnesian War, the momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems that lasted for twenty-seven years from 431 to 404 BC, involved virtually the whole of the Greek world, and ended in the fall of Athens. Thucydides himself was a participant in the war; to his history he brings an awesome intellect, brilliant narrative, and penetrating analysis of the nature of power, as it affects both states and individuals. Of his own work Thucydides wrote: 'I shall be content if [my history] is judged useful by those who will want to have a clear understanding of what happened - and, such is the human condition, will happen again ... It was composed as a permanent legacy, not a showpiece for a single hearing.' So it has proved. Of the prose writers of Greece and Rome Thucydides has had more lasting influence on western thought than all but Plato and Aristotle. This new edition combines a masterly translation with comprehensive supporting material. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.