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Subject: Background Reading rss

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Brad Koziey
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I did a search and I don't see a thread for recommended background reading. If you were to recommend one book what would it be??
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Well, one and only one would have to be Thucydides



But be warned it can be very dry and austere and also he stopped writing mid-sentence when there was still lots of war left, so you might want to compliment it with Donald Kagan's one-volume book for a general and accessible history, or his four-volume history if you want something more academic.
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Mark Herman
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CrackerJack747 wrote:
I did a search and I don't see a thread for recommended background reading. If you were to recommend one book what would it be??


The game comes with a Bibliography. As already stated Thucydides is a good place to start.
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Holman
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I've learned a good deal from this one:



Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.
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Nick Wade
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Definitely Kagan.

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Scott Vranes
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Victor Davis Hanson's is the one I own, and I second that it's a great overview of what happened and why.
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Jon Luminati
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Hattusilis_III wrote:
Definitely Kagan.



That's what I'm reading to get ready for my copy to arrive.
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Scott Key
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Donald Kagan

He is undisputedly THE modern scholar on the subject.
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Tobi Wagner
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Very interesting insight into the issue of "honor" as measurement for success in this war and the game.
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_torQuemada_ wrote:


Very interesting insight into the issue of "honor" as measurement for success in this war and the game.


Thanks, I'd like to read this.
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Mark Herman
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Scottgun wrote:
_torQuemada_ wrote:


Very interesting insight into the issue of "honor" as measurement for success in this war and the game.


Thanks, I'd like to read this.


Keep going, you are reconstructing the bibliography, getting there. ????
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Andrew B
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MarkHerman wrote:
Keep going, you are reconstructing the bibliography, getting there. ????


The playbook is not yet available. Would you be so kind as to share the bibliography with us as we wait for the actual release?
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MarkHerman wrote:


Keep going, you are reconstructing the bibliography, getting there. ????


Is this on it?



Actually I only know about this book from a search prompted by an interesting recent discussion on the wargamers forum about war colleges and the concern that Thucydides might be dropped from some programs. I went off on a tangent about why Thucydides stopped writing his history and linked to a lecture by Victor Davis Hanson where he speculates. Someone jumped in the discussion declaring Hanson "full of shit" for not talking about freedom for Greeks or somesuch.
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Ernie Blofeld
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I'd heartily recommend this edition of Thucydides. As already noted the original can be dry and difficult to comprehend. This edition basically has the Cliff Notes version in the margins alongside the original text and has plentiful maps and contextual information right where you need them. It makes a world of difference.

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Wendell
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Noiseman wrote:
I'd heartily recommend this edition of Thucydides. As already noted the original can be dry and difficult to comprehend. This edition basically has the Cliff Notes version in the margins alongside the original text and has plentiful maps and contextual information right where you need them. It makes a world of difference.



Second that. This is what we read in my class on Thucydides at the Naval War College.
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Tim Royal
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Ok, so here's a qualifying question for me. When I bought Churchill, I read the premiere recommended book that dealt with the subject (American Warlords). It was absolutely the best book for me, driven by stories and personalities and situations that solidified the frame of mind for me to enjoy Churchill at a high level.

So of the recommended books, and if anyone has read American Warlords, is there a book for the Peloponnesian Wars that is analogous to American Warlords in style?

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Auzette wrote:
Ok, so here's a qualifying question for me. When I bought Churchill, I read the premiere recommended book that dealt with the subject (American Warlords). It was absolutely the best book for me, driven by stories and personalities and situations that solidified the frame of mind for me to enjoy Churchill at a high level.

So of the recommended books, and if anyone has read American Warlords, is there a book for the Peloponnesian Wars that is analogous to American Warlords in style?



The biographical nature is hard to capture but I would read The Song of Wrath first.
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Tim Royal
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Thanks! Looking now.
 
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Geoff C
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Total historical fiction, but I liked it and it gave me a good feeling for the time in general;

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Moving into fiction, here is Steven Pressfield's Tides of War:


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Hattusilis_III wrote:
Definitely Kagan.



This book is a good overview from Kagan but if you want a very detailed account he also wrote a four volume work on the war which is really good. Years ago, I read this book then tracked down the four volumes when I couldn't get enough
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Tim Royal
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Thanks for the great tips, everyone. I've ordered all of these (well, except the four volume work, that one I'll probably do in wave 2. )

Thanks again.
 
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Mark Herman
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Auzette wrote:
Thanks for the great tips, everyone. I've ordered all of these (well, except the four volume work, that one I'll probably do in wave 2. )

Thanks again.


Just to remind everyone how old I am, I read the four volume Kagan series via interlibrary loan through my local library. Everyone should feel empowered to borrow books from libraries, else they will disappear.

Mark
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Charles Finch
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My wife used to have NY public library main branch card to get books from all over for her research (masters in modern european military history) - inter library loan is a wonderful thing
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Wendell
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While a student, I worked in my university library, fulfilling incoming interlibrary loan requests. It was actually a pretty cool job.

In Ohio, you can borrow a book from ANY county in the state, and they'll deliver it to your local public library branch for pick up, at no charge. Can't beat that.

So yeah - support your local library!
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