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Extended Audio Sample The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great Audiobook, by Steven Pressfield Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,722 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steven Pressfield Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2004 ISBN: 9781415918494
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Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.) ascended to the throne of Macedon at the age of twenty. He fought his greatest battles—including the conquest of the mighty Persian Empire—before he was twenty-five and died at the age of thirty-three, still undefeated by any enemy. His reputation as a supreme warrior and leader of men is unsurpassed in the annals of history. 

In the brilliantly imagined first-person voice of Alexander the Great, acclaimed novelist Steven Pressfield brings to life his epic battles, his unerring command of his forces, and the passions and ambitions that drove him. A full-blooded, multidimensional portrait, The Virtues of War captures Alexander’s complex character. Alexander was a fearless commander who moved with such daring and speed that no army could withstand him; a driven leader whose ambitions knew no limits; and a man with boundless compassion for his troops, deep friendships with his generals, and profound respect for his enemies. Yet in the end, his noble qualities were subsumed by his insatiable lust for glory.

No one writes about battles as brilliantly as Pressfield, and in The Virtues of War he vividly describes the seminal conflicts of Alexander’s career, revealing the tactics behind them and capturing the blood, heat, and terror of the battlefield. He follows Alexander’s forces as they faced and defeated armies that far outnumbered them; delivers a thrilling frontline report from Gaugamela, the scene of Alexander’s greatest victory; and, in a memorable vignette, shows the great conqueror finally halted, not by an enemy but by the refusal of his worn-out troops to march any farther.

Epic in scope and magisterial in tone, The Virtues of War is sure to take its place among the classics of historical fiction.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wonderfully imagined…stunningly graphic, intense, and extraordinary.”

    Nelson Demille

  • “The story of Alexander the Great is perhaps the greatest tale of battle and glory in human history, and Steven Pressfield tells it in brilliant, thrilling fashion. I turned the pages so fast I didn’t realize how much I was learning.”

    Vince Flynn

  • “Simply superb…The Virtues of War is a battle book of camp and march, which Pressfield does better than anyone…Its expert pace, its vivid detail, its bone-crushing action, and its occasional piercing insights of sad eloquence make it an absolutely gripping read.”

    Seattle Times

  • “Esteemed historical novelist Pressfield crawls inside the brave heart of Alexander the Great in this chronicle of the king’s bloody and extraordinary accomplishments and boundless ambition.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charles Pearce | 2/20/2014

    " In is OK, but way too much detail about the battles. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeffrey Wood | 2/17/2014

    " Once again, I was tricked into reading this after having read Gates of Fire. Evidently Pressfield is destined to be a "one hit wonder." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 2/12/2014

    " A great book for anyone who likes historical fiction :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivan | 2/11/2014

    " Imao sam osecaj kao da sam tamo...toliko dobro :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mattb | 2/4/2014

    " Slow to start, great finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nahdi | 2/2/2014

    " So far an interesting and educational book on a great historical figure. Good read, detailed, hardly any gay stuff (good!), great imagination. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garrett Santos | 1/19/2014

    " Good book about Alexander the Great. You'll enjoy this if you like Gates of Fire and Vice-Versa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/16/2014

    " I found this book surprisingly easy to read. The author's prose went well together, and told a story of Alexander the Great as seen by his friend. Interesting insight into this great king. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 H. | 1/14/2014

    " So far...this is GREAT! But then again, so is everything by Steven Pressfield! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nathaniel | 11/14/2013

    " Good, but just not as good as "Gate of Fire." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toshio | 9/20/2013

    " Haven't read any other books on Alexander, but this one was good. Again, great historical research from Pressfield (and his sources) and a compelling story to boot. Didn't quite grab me the same way as Gates of Fire. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Al | 5/1/2013

    " As usual a great read from a great author... Pressfield's ability to delve into the mind of history's great heros is impressive and well received... I look forward to my next purchase of a Pressfield book for my library "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alycia Sikes | 2/1/2013

    " I own this amazing book. It opens the world of Alexander the Great like nothing else I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mario Kroll | 9/7/2012

    " Solid historical fiction that attempts to look inside the thoughts and actions of one of antiquity's greatest conquerors. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John Schwabacher | 5/6/2012

    " Not as good as Gates of Fire or other books about Alexander, but still a good read for Alexander fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raju | 11/22/2011

    " Loved reading about Alexander from Alexander's perspective. The writing is so lucid, it makes you feel part of the war councils and seemingly gives you a ring side view of the battles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andre Chiasson | 11/18/2011

    " I was interested in reading about Alexander The Great. This gives a good overview of his battles and his approach to life and war. I didn't really enjoy it but I learned something. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 11/9/2011

    " Book club book selection for May. I don't love war. I don't love history. I despise stories of geography. The combination of all this and it was all I could do to complete 50 pages (my rule for book club books). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean Chick | 9/27/2011

    " Good read, and it really gives you an understanding for Alexander as a man, but I found the battle scenes to be uninspired. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JHHK JHHK | 8/24/2011

    " Greatest story ever told about Alexander the Great, and my absolute favorite Pressfield epic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick Karno | 7/24/2011

    " Pressfield is incredible at bringing history to life. There are minor "enhancements", places where he needed to change the facts so the story would flow better, but overall he's a pleasure to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean | 5/17/2011

    " Not as good as Gates of Fire, but a great read nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 2/5/2011

    " The Virtues of War provides quite a different perspective than the typical academic world history class -- for once, military strategy has become both interesting and understandable!

    Now, I would love to see a similar book written from the perspective of Cleopatra... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tacowsh1t | 1/30/2011

    " Very Dry and very boring "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 1/2/2011

    " Completely loved this book. Just outstanding, particularly for the period detail and the meticulous attention to the mechanics of the strategy and tactics of the era. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 12/20/2010

    " Tell you later. Not yet finished reading this fine novel about Alexander the Great's military exploits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nahdi | 10/9/2010

    " So far an interesting and educational book on a great historical figure. Good read, detailed, hardly any gay stuff (good!), great imagination. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 10/1/2010

    " Awesome book about ancient battle, from the viewpoint of one of history's most well known and greatest conquerers. Not that I love war, or anything, but I learned a lot from this historical fiction. Pressfield does his homework. I'll probably pick up another one of his books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Riaz | 7/27/2010

    " Historical fiction of Alexander the Great. enough said. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivan | 1/7/2010

    " Imao sam osecaj kao da sam tamo...toliko dobro :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Griff | 11/15/2009

    " Discussion of war and empire in Alexander the Great's time "

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About the Author
Author Steven PressfieldPressfield's first job when he moved to New York City was as a $150-a-week copy writer for Benton & Bowles. One day while rewriting the just-add-water text for the back label off Gravy Train dog food he asked himself, 'Shouldn't I be doing something a little more worthwhile?' He decided to quit and write a novel. Eight novels, many bestsellers and 34 screenplays later, you've found this book. Find the rest of them at http://www.stevenpressfield.com/books/
About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.