The eternal nature of war

Massive battles, biological warfare, ethnic cleansing, barbarism, ill-fated military expeditions......current headlines?  The story of the U.S. military in Iraq, NOPE....the story of the Peloponnesian Wars.

Victor Davis Hanson's book, A War Like No Other, offers a different perspective on this great cataclysm of the ancient world.  The thirty year war between Athens and Sparta continues to offer lessons to modern civilization and is often quoted or mis-quoted to push a particular agenda or point of view.  Hanson breaks the war up into thematic vice chronological discussion topics, although he does provide an excellent overview for the neophyte to follow along.  The eternal themes of statecraft, strategy, politics and leadership are well displayed in this war, which was immortalized by Thucydides in his masterwork, which is still studied by strategy classes.  (Sadly, I had to encounter this book several times in my studies, not a book for the faint of heart)

Hanson's interpretation is excellent and he does a fairly good job of trying to use contemporary examples to show the timeless themes of this great conflict.  Although not perhaps for the casual reader, the book is an excellent introduction or companion to Thucydides or any of the other modern histories of this war.