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Enter Alexander

Who was Alexander? Why write a book about him? Why is history interesting?

History is interesting — and important, even vital — for the same reason that your personal history is vital to you. Every one of us is the sum total of all our successes and failures — every good and bad decision we’ve ever made, piled atop those our parents made. And we talk about ourselves and our experiences, constantly. Just look at Facebook!

History — the study of history — is to a nation and a people, what life experience is to an individual. Failure to understand that history will inevitably lead us to make the same miscalculations that we make when confronted with another person’s personal issues and traumas. It is impossible to understand Nazi Germany without understanding the 30 Year’s War of the seventeenth century and Bismarck in the nineteenth — and a host of other causes. It is impossible to understand the world we live in now — and especially the troublesome world of terrorism and violence — without knowing the history behind it. So called “political science” has very little to offer without the rich compendium of truths and half-truths of the raw data of history — mostly because there’s very little science to human politics and a great deal of raw emotion and suffering.

Enter Alexander. Alexander is one of the most important figures of history—at least in the west. He really lived. He really conquered a great deal of the world. He really changed history. By doing so, he created himself as a god and affected everything from Pop culture icons to religion — affects which not only linger but resound to this very day. When early Christians wanted icons of the risen Saviour, they copied pictures of Alexander. When, about the same time, Julius Caesar looked for a hero to emulate in a much more vainglorious and worldly way — he chose Alexander. Our notions of what masculine beauty is — our notions of what fame is — our very notions of what conquest, and victory in war are — all owe something to Alexander.