Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar lived more than 2,000 years ago, but the lessons they left behind - about deciding whom to fight and when - resonate today.
Historian Barry Strauss delves into the personalities and methodologies of these three military geniuses in a discussion of his new book Masters of Command on Friday, May 29, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Strauss shows how all three generals had to look beyond the battlefield to decide what constitutes victory, when to end the fighting, and how to bring stability to the lands they conquered.
Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar had to be not only generals but statesmen. And yet each was a battlefield commander, a strategist, a leader of men. In short, they were warriors.
Publishers Weekly says that "no one presents the military history of the ancient world with greater insight and panache than Barry Strauss," while the Kirkus Reviews raves that he "cleverly exposes the characters of three legendary leaders through the five stages of war: attack, resistance, clash, closing the net, and knowing when to stop. The author effortlessly compares their histories side by side, describing battles with both comprehensiveness and simplicity ... he makes military history great fun."
Strauss is professor of history and classics at Cornell University. He has written or edited ten books, most recently The Spartacus War, The Trojan War, and The Battle of Salamis. He speaks several modern languages in addition to reading ancient Greek and Latin.
Admission is free. The event will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.