Thucydides on the Outbreak of War
Character and Contest
Reviews and Awards
"...[T]he overall take on Thucydides' political thinking is persuasive. I...appreciated the attention Jaffe calls to many moments of 'double cmmunication' in speeches...The book is especially helpful for its insights about Thucydides' use of psychology and character." - Eric W. Robinson, Indiana University, Polis (AGPT)
"S.N. Jaffe's book is an excellent scholarly and philosophical resource, an exemplar of serious and original scholarship from which Thucydides scholars, classicists, political theorists, and students of international relations can learn. The manuscript is one of the most wide-ranging and clearly-conceived interpretations of Thucydides to be published in the last two decades, and it will demand continuous engagement and study from serious readers." - Giorgi Areshidze, Claremont
"This book is highly recommended for both specialists and students alike. Jaffes verve makes this complex work accessible to an interested audience. His in-depth analysis of Thucydides History makes for an eminent and enjoyable re-reading of a classic, and deserves a place in the bookshelves of every IR scholar." - Alexandros Koutsoukis, E-International Relations
"Thucydides on the Outbreak of the War is an outstanding scholarly contribution that will be useful to specialists of classical thought as well as to political scientists who want to teach Thucydides in their classroom." - Sophie Marcotte-Chenard, Carleton University
"This is a rich book, which will be highly useful not only for literary scholars and political theorists but also for historians aiming to use Thucydides for constructing the modern narratives of the Peloponnesian War that we so badly need." - Kostas Vlassopoulos, Greece and Rome
"Jaffe's book is an excellent combination of classical scholarship with the study of international relations and an important contribution to Thucydidean studies." - Pavel Nÿvlt, Eirene. Studia Graeca et Latina
"S. N. Jaffe's Thucydides on the Outbreak of War offers a richly rewarding and theoretically powerful investigation of Book I of Thucydides History. Focusing on the details of Book I its portrayal of the psychologies of Athens and Sparta and the necessities that emerge from those psychologies Jaffe opens up the whole of Thucydides' work as an exploration of the deep connections between necessity, justice and cities' characters. As with the work he studies, Jaffe uses the particulars to reveal the universal, giving his readers deep insights into the psychology and origins of armed conflicts between cities." - Dr. Arlene Saxonhouse, the Caroline Robbins Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies, the University of Michigan.
"S.N. Jaffe's provocative account of Thucydides' ideas is informed by political theory but grounded in a meticulous and scholarly reading of the first book of his history. Like its subject, his analysis transcends disciplinary boundaries, and combines the particular and the general, the historical and the theoretical, to give new insights into the origins of wars and how we make sense of them. It will be essential reading for classicists and ancient historians as much as for social scientists." - Dr. Neville Morley, Professor in Classics and Ancient History, the University of Exeter.
"A new contribution to the understanding of the outbreak of war in Thucydides is an admirable accomplishment, and this book offers an innovative reading of the concepts of justice, necessity, and advantage, alongside related issues." - Rachel Bruzzone, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"S.N. Jaffe sheds new light in this relentlessly insightful and accessibly written study of the first book of Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War. In these pages, Thucydides comes to life as the original applied historian, weaving together two distinct narratives of the war into a single work: on the one hand, an accurate account of the particular twists and turns on the road to war, in all their complexity, and on the other hand, a universal study of political and psychological archetypes that could serve as a possession for all time. This exciting new study belongs on the bookshelf of any serious historian or political scientist who wants to better understand the origins of the Peloponnesian War and the intellectual process of one of history's greatest historians." - Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School