In This Review

The Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War
By Donald Kagan
Viking, 2003, 511 pp

Kagan's masterful four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War, the titanic clash between the Athenians and the Spartans in the last decades of the fifth century BC, remains the definitive work on the subject. Kagan here provides a condensed version for a popular readership, telling the story as well as it can be told. Still, given the regular use of Thucydides' original chronicle of the war in contemporary commentary, it is sad that the contraction means the loss of Kagan's own comparisons with later periods, one of the more unique features of his earlier four-volume work.