(Audio book) This book is from a "lighweight history" series by Peter Abbott. As the name suggests, it deals with the history of Alexander Macedon, a.k.a. Alexander the Great, the Greek king of circa 300 BC who managed to conquer most of the then-known world. It's well written and narrated, and is very entertaining to read. The author strikes a very good balance between historical comprehensiveness and accessibility for the layman reader. The latter is very important, and is often omitted in historical books, making them barely readable. One story from the book that particularly impressed me was the siege of Tyre. The city resides on an island a couple of miles from the shore, and to conquer it Alexander has ordered his army to build a causeway to connect to it from the shore, after a siege of several months. The Tyrians replied by attacking the soldiers who were building the causeway from ships. The Greeks built wooden walls along it to protect themselves from arrows and spears. In response, the Tyrians ignited the wall by sending a "kamikaze ship" on it, loading it with tar and setting it on fire. Later, a storm ruined the causeway almost completely. Alexander did not despair, however, and ordered his troops to rebuild the path, this time covering the wooden wall with fresh hides to prevent ignition, and hired ships that fought with Tyrian ships and didn't allow them to attack the builders. At last, the city has been conquered. This description of the battle was as readable as a good novel, and the accounts of military ingenuity from both sides are striking.


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