• Masters of Command

  • Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership
  • By: Barry Strauss
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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Masters of Command  By  cover art

Masters of Command

By: Barry Strauss
Narrated by: Michael Prichard
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Publisher's Summary

Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar: Each was a master of war. Each had to look beyond the battlefield to decide whom to fight and why; to know what victory was and when to end the war; to determine how to bring stability to the lands he conquered. Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar had to be not only generals but statesmen. And yet each was a battlefield commander, a strategist, a leader of men - in short, a warrior.

Tactics change, weapons change, but the ultimate purpose of war remains much the same through the centuries, and a great warrior must know how to measure success. Publishers Weekly said: "No one presents the military history of the ancient world with greater insight and panache than Barry Strauss," and in Masters of Command he shows what these three great commanders can teach us today about ambition, leadership, branding, and more.

Understanding where Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar succeeded and failed can serve anyone who thinks strategically - whether in business or elsewhere - to analyze his or her actions. Masters of Command is a guidebook for the battlefield and the boardroom alike.

©2012 Barry Strauss (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Strauss sharpens our image of three brilliant commanders and makes military history great fun." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Masters of Command

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

this is a story of caesar hannibal and alexander

I was more looking for a book about strategy in war than a narrative about their individual campaigns. the author and reader did a great job narrating and doing research, just not for me

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much jumping around

There was a lot of information and it was interesting. It jumped around too much for me between the 3 protagonists.

1 person found this helpful

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  • NA
  • 01-19-13

Heroes?

Where does Masters of Command rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved this book and have listened to it about 5 times now, and have learned something new each and every time.

I've learned about history, how my heroes were not only good--but also evil. I've learned that men are still men. Masters still make mistakes but strive to learn from those and to carry on nonetheless.

Which scene was your favorite?

This book covers everything from love, inspiration and sex to war, battle and death. From battle tactics to spying and Cleopatra. You wont be bored.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A lack of continuity

What did you like best about Masters of Command? What did you like least?

The subject are interesting, but I do not like the way the author switches from Alexander to Hannibal to Caeser and back to Alexander again, over and over again. He even doesn't compare these leaders particularly effectively.
I just start to become engrossed in the story of one of these generals. when he switches to the next guy.

Was Masters of Command worth the listening time?

Probably not.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

harsh criticism of the past

Some of the points made about Alexander and Caesar especially come off at quite hard and critical. I really enjoyed the subject matter, but I don't believe the author should have given his two cents on his view of how the greats made mistakes etc. I would have rather gleaned my own opinion based on facts provided. Much of the story had depictions and depth of character on each of the three greats. However Hannibal could have gotten a bit more audible time. Most of the chapters were very well read it was only a few times that the narration felt tired. Really good book if you like war and history.

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comprehensive review of three great generals

the advantage of this book is that it's so comprehensive in this comparison of Alexander the Great, Hannibal and Julius Caesar. it is definitely a book worth listening to and gives many important facts about these three great figures in history. my main criticism of the book is that it focuses too much on the author's opinions both negative and positive even when the facts do not really support his opinions. he does not make a good attempt to separate historical facts from his own personal opinions. for example is very controversial as to whether Hannibal should have tried to invade Rome itself but he States it as if it's proven fact that Hannibal's decision to not conquer room itself was a failure. even though the author repeatedly mentions that Hannibal was grossly outnumbered and that Rome had Legions of troops abroad that obviously would have returned to Italy had Hannibal put Rome Under Siege. under those circumstances Hannibal's greatest asset.. Mobility been lost. the author states that Hannibal's "failure" to invade Rome itself was a huge mistake. that is opinion not historical fact. The author does not make any attempt to separate his opinion from documented fact. this detracts from this otherwise excellent book full of facts and only partially stained by the presentation of some opinions as if they were proven fact.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

needs a heading

good book
Amazon making me write review before I can get to my library

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Hard Pass

the book is disjointed constantly jumping between three different men living in completely different times. This book is what happens when you try to sell history to the general public.

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One of the best books I have ever enjoyed.

Everything about this book is amazing! I loved it from start to finish and it was narrated extraordinarily well! especially if you were in the military you would be doing yourself with this disservice by not reading this book.

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love the stories

love hearing about pass commanders. these three are my top favorites being that they were so blinded by power they lost their sight on the real goal which was liberating the people.