For thousands of years, the Spartans have captured the imaginations of Westerners. In ancient Greece, the city-state was admired for its military prowess, civic unity, and dedication to leisurely athletic pursuits.
Historian Paul Rahe is working on a series of books with Yale University Press which explore both the military and political strategy of the Spartans. We begin our conversation discussing why it’s hard for us moderns to truly understand Sparta. We then dig into the history and culture of Spartans.
Leaders Are Readers.
Some of the reviews of this fascinating book..
“Persuasive.”–Thomas E. Ricks, New York Times Book Review
“Rahe thinks and writes big. . . . The Spartan Regime breaks important new ground.”–Jacob Howland, Commentary
“In thinking about foreign affairs and in pondering diplomacy, intelligence, and military strength and its economic foundations, Rahe argues, one must always acknowledge the primacy of domestic policy.”–Patrick J. Garrity, Politics and Strategy
“An important new history. . . . The story of this ancient clash of civilizations, masterfully told by Paul Rahe . . . provides a timely reminder about strategic challenges and choices confronting the United States.”–John Maurer, Claremont Review of Books
“Paul Rahe combines the chops of a professional historian with a masterly grasp of political philosophy. He is also a shrewd analyst of human character. . . . Rahe’s ability to reveal the human side beneath [an] austere exterior is one of many reasons to read this beautifully written, meticulously researched, and deeply engaging book.”–Waller R. Newell, Washington Free Beacon
“A serious scholarly endeavor.”–Eric W. Robinson, American Historical Review
“Paul Rahe continues his monumental history of ancient Sparta, by explaining why and how Sparta’s early strategic role in the Greek world was inseparable from the uniqueness of its origins and values. An insightful and sympathetic view of Sparta, one that could only be written by a masterful historian and classicist with Rahe’s singular knowledge of political philosophy, ancient and modern.”–Victor Davis Hanson, The Hoover Institution, author of The Other Greeks
“Paul Rahe toils boldly at the intersection of political and diplomatic history, military history, and political theory. He has always been one of a kind, and this highly original book will cement his reputation as such. Who else has treated Spartan policy with the seriousness that he shows that it deserves? Nobody.”–Clifford Orwin, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto, and Senior Fellow, Berlin Thucydides Center