The Military Legacy of Alexander the Great Lessons for the Information Age
Not only does this volume explore Alexander’s rich military history, but also it provides a robust exploration of the 21st century security environment. Theorists and policymakers will gain insight into how Alexander’s story informs our thinking about peace, war, and strategy, while practitioners and educators will encounter ways to improve their approaches to leader development and building curricula. Ferguson and Worthington set forth these lessons in a thematic framework that organises Alexander’s reign into distinct parts, concluding these with a chapter that brings his lessons into the modern world. 25th National Security Advisor to the president of the United States, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, provides a thoughtful conclusion to this fascinating volume. Alexander’s timeless campaigns remain as germane to this age as any other and demonstrate the critical importance of dynamic leadership and historical studies in an era increasingly dominated by the culture of technology.
Introduction; Why Alexander the Great? Then and Now; Part I The Environment; 1. Alexander’s Macedonian Background and Influences; 2. A Brave New World?; Part II Military Organization and Structure; 3. The Macedonian Army and Greek Warfare; 4. Organizing, Innovating, and Prioritizing Modernization; Part III Choosing Battles – And Winning Wars?; 5. Alexander’s First Campaigns; 6. Alexander In Persia 1: King of Asia; 7. Alexander In Persia 2: Mission Accomplished?; 8. The Art of Control and the Enduring Fog of War; Part IV Eastern Exposure; 9. Alexander In Central Asia; 10. Alexander In India and his Final Years; 11. West Meets East: Command and Control?; 12. The Trials and Tolls of Expeditionary Warfare; Part V The Human Domain; 13. Alexander’s Generalship; 14. Alexander’s Grand Strategy: Model or Model Failure?; Conclusion by Lt. General H. R. McMaster.
"A timely, important, and impressive book that provides a tremendous new examination of Alexander the Great. Ferguson and Worthington establish convincingly that civilization's advances have not made war less complex or less taxing on the human condition. As the world evolves from an era of benign globalization to one of renewed great power rivalries, The Military Legacy of Alexander the Great is a compelling exploration of the timeless and often brutal nature of war." -- General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), former Commander of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and NATO/US Forces in Afghanistan and co-author (with Andrew Roberts) of Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to Ukraine.
"A much needed, didactic reexamination of the unique ways in which Alexander the Great overcame daunting challenges of logistics, geography, numbers, culture, and politics that should have guaranteed his failure—and the lessons that ancient history offers... A rare, scholarly and pragmatic guide to the unchanging principles of conducting war by authors who are as versed with wars of the past as they are familiar with conflict in the present." -- Victor Davis Hanson, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Author of A War Like No Other; The Second World Wars.
"Michael P. Ferguson and Ian Worthington have presented an excellent account and analysis of Alexander’s campaigns, detailing his strengths and weaknesses across the different levels and components of strategy. Moreover, the book identifies a range of valuable insights for the modern practitioner of strategy. Perhaps most importantly, the book determines that, despite our ever-changing world, war and strategy remain fundamentally human endeavours in which leadership and strategic judgement remain paramount." -- David J. Lonsdale, author of Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy.
"Leadership, strategy, perseverance, individual will...these characteristics are the legacy of Alexander the Great, and they are why we have studied him and his campaigns over the centuries. His ability to push his army beyond normal limits and reach the fullest possible potential of his soldiers are what is expected of every modern leader today." -- Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, U.S. Army (Retired).
"Ferguson and Worthington’s book is a bold effort that integrates a history from antiquity with contemporary insights on leadership. A well designed project of no small amount of intellectual ambition, it is brilliantly executed with nuance and good deal of classical scholarship. Professional students of the art of war will benefit from this historically grounded study that serves as a unique guide to anyone aspiring to master the complexities of strategic leadership." -- Frank Hoffman, Ph.D., U.S. National Defense University