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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,498 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steven Pressfield Narrator: Derek Jacobi Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780553752113
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Brilliant at war, a master of politics, and a charismatic lover, Alcibiades was Athens’ favorite son and the city’s greatest general.

A prodigal follower of Socrates, he embodied both the best and the worst of the Golden Age of Greece. A commander on both land and sea, he led his armies to victory after victory.

But like the heroes in a great Greek tragedy, he was a victim of his own pride, arrogance, excess, and ambition. Accused of crimes against the state, he was banished from his beloved Athens, only to take up arms in the service of his former enemies.

For nearly three decades, Greece burned with war and Alcibiades helped bring victories to both sides—and ended up trusted by neither.

Narrated from death row by Alcibiades’ bodyguard and assassin, a man whose own love and loathing for his former commander mirrors the mixed emotions felt by all Athens, Tides of War tells an epic saga of an extraordinary century, a war that changed history, and a complex leader who seduced a nation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Pressfield’s battlefield scenes rank with the most convincing ever written.”

    USA Today

  • “Pressfield serves up not just hair-raising battle scenes…But many moments of valor and cowardice, lust, and bawdy humor…Even more impressively, he delivers a nuanced portrait of ancient Athens.”

    Esquire

  • “Unabashedly brilliant, epic, intelligent, and moving.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Pressfield’s attention to historic detail is exquisite…This novel will remain with the reader long after the final chapter is finished.”

    Library Journal

  • “Astounding, historically accurate tale…Pressfield is a master storyteller, especially adept in his graphic and embracing descriptions of the land and naval battles, political intrigues, and colorful personalities, which come together in an intense and credible portrait of war-torn Greece.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Santo | 2/10/2014

    " Clever portrayal of the Peloponnesian War; good character development and compelling plot-line. Author paints vivid pictures, although leaves a little to be desired for the actual battle scenes. "

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

    " Interesting historical fiction about the Pelopenesian War in Greece. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 1/24/2014

    " This is another work of historical fiction and one that I highly recommend to historians and lovers of action alike. It It follows Alcibiades, an Athenian General who throughout the course of the Peloponnesian War fought for three different sides. In a war that really only had two sides, figure that one out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/22/2014

    " Probably #3 on my Steven Pressfield list. Great story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter Carlisle | 1/20/2014

    " When I first tried to read this book I did not enjoy it, nor even get through it. Now, several years later, I took another crack at it and found it to be an amazing book, if very complex. As with all of Pressfield's ancient Greek stuff, it is well researched and feels quite authentic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Carter | 1/19/2014

    " I loved the historical information coupled with a vivid storyline! I also love the way Pressfield uses language and incorporates philosophy into the dialogue. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeffrey Wood | 1/17/2014

    " I had high hopes for this book after reading Gates of Fire. It drug on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frankx99 | 1/16/2014

    " A novel about the political intrigue and civil wars of ancient Greece "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Benjamin | 12/28/2013

    " A fantastic piece of historical fiction. Steven Pressfield is by far one of my favorite authors. He brings to life a period of history that shaped western civilization in a way that is both gritty and exciting. Incredibly hard to put down! No one brings the ancient world to life like Mr. Pressfield. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony Randall | 12/28/2013

    " Not his best work but still one heck of a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mj Hangge | 12/26/2013

    " One of the most fantastic stories of all times. Love to read Pressfield's unusual form and can't put his books back down. A must read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thomas Boyd | 12/17/2013

    " Way, way, way too dense for me. Impenetrable dialogue and narration. I appreciate what the author has attempted to do, but I gave up after forcing my way through about 25% of it. I very much doubt I'll ever pick it up again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 C.R. | 12/12/2013

    " A history of the rise and fall of Alcibiades, this novel is lucid, compelling, and vivid. I never knew battles could be written as well as Pressfield writes them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Al | 12/7/2013

    " Another excellent historical novel by Pressfield....this one tracing the ascendance and demise of the Athenian Alcibiades during the 27 year war between Sparta and Athens. If you like Greek history, you will definitely enjoy this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cole Schoolland | 12/3/2013

    " An in depth historical narrative of Alcibiades during the Peloponnesian wars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mario Kroll | 10/26/2013

    " Very solid historical fiction, but didn't enjoy it quite as much as Pressfield's Gates of Fire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 10/22/2013

    " This review goes for all of steven pressfields historical fictions--I laughed like a little girl, I cried like a lost child, I prayed, as he took me on various literary journeys, and he delivered me safe at home in the end, tucked me in gently, in the blankets of awesome history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Mitchell | 4/28/2013

    " Less of a focus on war than Gates of Fire, with a much greater focus on the politics of Athens. While I was hoping for a faster paced exciting battle by battle story, I was fascinated by the discussion of politics throughout Greece. Not what I expected but glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 3/26/2013

    " It is impressive that, with each novel, Pressfield somehow makes it still interesting, and historically informative. In a nut shell... Lovin it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Tappe | 3/22/2013

    " An engrossing and stylish novel of the Peloponnesian War through the eyes of a fictional participant as he tells his war story to his young grandson. The writing is really crisp and compelling. This would be a great complement to a straight up history of the same period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luke | 3/13/2013

    " I read this maybe 4 years ago when I was about 13. I remember struggling through it, not understanding some of it, but overall enjoying the challenge it posed. I read it again and understood more of it and enjoyed it immensely. It was very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Tonantius Ferreolus Gober | 3/13/2013

    " Awesome read! I pull nearly one of my favorite quotes, "I have dined on dreams. Not alone to sustain myself but to set a feast before others." by Alcibiadis,page 313. Fan or no fan, one must read this fantastic novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Griff | 1/8/2013

    " Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mike | 8/19/2012

    " Like Jenn, I read a few chapters and then got fed up. Not likely to finish this one. Complete disappointment after Gates of Fire. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gouty | 8/12/2012

    " This is a very interesting account of the life of Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tomas | 3/11/2012

    " A great way to learn about Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian war. I am now reading Thucydides account of the Peloponnesian war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryon | 7/17/2011

    " Probably one of the best books ever written on war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean | 5/17/2011

    " I really like Pressfield. His books are all very well written and complete. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 4/4/2011

    " An interesting look at Athenian warrior/politician Alcibiades as he tried to manage the dynamics of the Peloponnesian War among Athens, Sparta, and Persia. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lily | 3/29/2011

    " It's a great big sloppy train wreck of a book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 2/17/2011

    " Less of a focus on war than Gates of Fire, with a much greater focus on the politics of Athens. While I was hoping for a faster paced exciting battle by battle story, I was fascinated by the discussion of politics throughout Greece. Not what I expected but glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/23/2011

    " Another solid Pressfield novel of ancient Greece. His writing style is a little more challenging than a toss-away fluff novel, but he brews up some truly amazing phrases. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zare | 11/4/2010

    " Story of Alcibiades, Athenian noble, who changed sides during the Peloponnesian war one time too many, making enemies in almost every nation he ever served.[return]Narrative is somewhat confusing and this may repel readers - I advise them to persevere, it's worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bigmg | 9/20/2010

    " posted on Amazon. Brilliant book. Love reading Pressfield. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 AJ | 8/9/2010

    " Boring. Couldn't finish. Might try again, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mj | 6/3/2010

    " One of the most fantastic stories of all times. Love to read Pressfield's unusual form and can't put his books back down. A must read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cole | 4/19/2010

    " An in depth historical narrative of Alcibiades during the Peloponnesian wars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 3/25/2010

    " This review goes for all of steven pressfields historical fictions--I laughed like a little girl, I cried like a lost child, I prayed, as he took me on various literary journeys, and he delivered me safe at home in the end, tucked me in gently, in the blankets of awesome history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Griff | 11/16/2009

    " Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War "

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About the Author
Author Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield is the author of the hugely successful novels Gates of Fire, Tides of War, and Last of the Amazons, among others. His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was made into a major motion picture starring Matt Damon and Will Smith in 2000. He lives in California.

About the Narrator

Sir Derek Jacobi has had a long and distinguished career. He has toured in Becket and Uncle Vanya, and he received a Tony Award for his performance as Benedick in the RSC’s production of Much Ado about Nothing. His work in television includes the lead roles in Cadfael and I, Claudius, and his film credits include Henry V, Gosford Park, and Hamlet. His narrations have won him eleven Audiofile Earphones Awards.