|About the Book|
Sparta vs. Athens. Why did the Spartans win and the Athenians lose the Peloponnesian War? Or a better question from Thucydides perspectives, just how did Athens, at the height of her imperial power, manage to snatch such a decisive defeat from theMoreSparta vs. Athens. Why did the Spartans win and the Athenians lose the Peloponnesian War? Or a better question from Thucydides perspectives, just how did Athens, at the height of her imperial power, manage to snatch such a decisive defeat from the jaws of all but certain victory? To learn from history one must first understand that all history is rooted in human nature, and for prospective leaders, answering the question How do nations fight? is at least as important as questions of necessity, inevitability, strategy and resources. Thucydides was the first to demonstrate that the critical historical role played by each nations unique national character – and the extent to which its leadership can control and direct it – is the decisive element upon which victory and defeat in war always turns. What made the national character of the Spartans so different from that of the Athenians? How did these characteristics influence each sides conduct of the war, and did these disparate tendencies – Sparta conservatively fearful to maintain her position and Athens bent on further imperial acquisition at all costs – make the Peloponnesian War inevitable and its outcome a foregone conclusion? In Thucydides on War and National Character, the author explores and explains the systematic theory of collective psychology and war leadership set forth in the History, a unique set of insights meant to demonstrate in Thucydides treatment of the war how the historical behavior of nations is biologically rooted in human nature – and how strong leaders are able to direct the collective national psyche which derives from its innate tendencies, while weak leaders react to its fickle ebbs and flows . It was the delineation of these principles in the case study of the Peloponnesian War that Thucydides felt made his work a possession for all time.