TITLE: The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War
AUTHOR: Caroline Alexander
DATE PUBLISHED: 2010
"WHAT ARE THE REAL LESSONS OF WAR?
The Illiad is celebrated as one of the greatest of all works of literature, the epic of all epics. But while the dramatic events of the Trojan War are legendary, the true theme of this ancient poem is often forgotten: the horror and enduring devastation of war. Written with the authority of a scholar and the vigor of a s bestselling narrative historian. The War That Killed Achilles is a superb and timely presentation of one of the timeless stories of Western civilization. Caroline Alexander has taken apart a narrative we think we know and put it back together in a way that illuminates its true power, relevant to all wars, past and present. "
Caroline Alexander has written a book that briefly explores what Homer's Iliad is all about and what the epic poem tells us about war. This is not a translation of the Iliad, nor a history of the war, with archaeological evidence etc, so the sub-title is misleading. It is simply a description of the epic poem (with quotes) follwed by the author's commentary and analysis. The writing is clear and the author's arguments and observations easy to follow. Alexander also includes additional historical details to help add context to the story. An especially interesting aspect is what the Iliad has to "say" about the psychological effects of this war on the humans involved, and how this is still relevant today. I found this to be an interesting and thoughtful examination of the Iliad and the characters mentioned in the epic. However, it would have been wonderful if Caroline Alexander had decided to explore some of the themes more fully.