Over the years, some 20,000 books and articles have been written about Alexander the Great, the vast majority hailing him as possibly the greatest general that ever lived. Richard A. Gabriel, however, argues that, while Alexander was clearly a successful soldier-adventurer, the evidence of real greatness is simply not there.
The author presents Alexander as a misfit within his own warrior society, attempting to overcompensate. Thoroughly insecure and unstable, he was given to episodes of uncontrollable rage and committed brutal atrocities that would today have him vilified as a monstrous psychopath. The author believes some of his worst excesses may have been due to what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, of which he displays many of the classic symptoms, brought on by extended exposure to violence and danger. Above all the author thinks that Alexander's military ability has been flattered by History. Alexander was tactically competent but contributed nothing truly original, while his strategy was often flawed and distorted by his obsession with personal glory. This radical reappraisal is certain to provoke debate.