Thermopylae: The Battle for the West
"It was the natural human tendency to elevate the battle at the hot Gates to an almost superhuman dimension and, having done so, to let the purpose of it be forgotten."
"Even the self-perpetuating bureaucracy of our modern Western, self-styled 'democratic', world would have seemed to the Spartans who died at Thermopylae an unacceptable thing."
There lies the moral of the whole story. It is not just a military history, it is a story of peoples choosing sides. Pushed to the brink were you have to choose what is really worth dying -and living- for. Here are the options that people (yesterday and today) consider before committing themselves to a country/party/policy/, etc. What would we fight for today? How much would you be willing to give up in the face of threats? Today we don't consider the real issues because wee don't see our lives threatened.
This book shows us what the people considered worth fighting for. Today things haven't changed, and that's what makes this book so relevant (besides well-written): we have today so much "noise" coming from the media and our elite classes (academia/bureaucratic establishment) that prevents us from listening to our own hearts when it comes to making sound and fundamental decisions.
Put yourself in the sandals of a Spartan or an Athenian in 5th century BC. and where would you stand? What would you live/die for?
The book covers Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea.