BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steven Pressfield's The Profession .
I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. So begins Alexander’s extraordinary confession on the eve of his greatest crisis of leadership. By turns heroic and calculating, compassionate and utterly merciless, Alexander recounts with a warrior’s unflinching eye for detail the blood, the terror, and the tactics of his greatest battlefield victories. Whether surviving his father’s brutal assassination, presiding over a massacre, or weeping at the death of a beloved comrade-in-arms, Alexander never denies the hard realities of the code by which he lives: the virtues of war. But as much as he was feared by his enemies, he was loved and revered by his friends, his generals, and the men who followed him into battle. Often outnumbered, never outfought, Alexander conquered every enemy the world stood against him–but the one he never saw coming. . . .
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|Title of eBook: The Virtues of War||Series: A Novel of Alexander the Great,|
|Release Date: 09-27-2005|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Virtues of War|
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The Virtues of War
I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another.
I have known lovers, sired offspring, competed in games, and committed outrages when drunk. I have vanquished empires, yoked continents, been crowned as an immortal before gods and men. But always I have been a soldier.
From the time I was a boy, I fled my tutor to seek the company of the men in the barracks. The drill field and the stable, the smell of leather and sweat, these are congenial to me. The scrape of the whetstone on iron is to me what music is to poets. It has always been this way. I can remember no time when it was otherwise.
One such as myself must have learned much, a fellow might think, from campaign and experience. Yet I may state in candor: All that I know, I knew at thirteen and, truth to tell, at ten and younger. Nothing has come to me as a grown commander that I did not apprehend as a child.
As a boy I instinctively understood the ground, the march, the occasion, and the elements. I comprehended the crossing of rivers and the exploitation of terrain; how many units of what composition may traverse such and such a distance, how swiftly, bearing how much kit, arriving in what condition to fight. The drawing up of troops came as second nature to me: I simply looked; all showed itself clear. My father was the greatest soldier of his day, perhaps the greatest ever. Yet when I was ten I informed him that I would excel him. By twenty-three I had done so.
As a lad I was jealous of my father, fearing that he would achieve glory on such a scale as would leave none for me.