Ghost on the Throne Book Review Essay

Words: 1581
Pages: 7

James Romm wrote Ghost on the Throne with the purpose to inform the reader of Alexander the Great and the empire he established, with the ensuing chaos the came after when Alexander tragically died at a young age. The book was organized somewhat chronologically, starting from opening the tombs in which Alexander was buried and how he fell ill, to the closing of the tombs and a reflection of the fall of his empire. Romm tried to answer the question of how Alexander died, providing multiple theories of how and why he died. Romm seemed to advocate the theory of poison from Alexander’s enemies, including the fact that many people wanted to see Alexander dead. Romm also explained in great detail how the empire fell; the countries wanted to …show more content…
For example, many battles were described in the book, but the abundance of detail made it difficult to understand the significance of the battle. Romm focused more on detail than the big picture, which made it challenging to understand the significance of each battle. Romm focused mostly on Alexander in the beginning of the book. After Alexander died, the book became much broader, addressing all parts of Alexander’s empire and the several people that attempted to seize the power that Alexander left behind. The change in breadth gives the book an uneasy feeling. Alexander’s empire was not addressed until he died and left it without much control. When Alexander was alive, the Romm discussed specific parts of war that described Alexander personality. For example, the Arabs were people that did not threaten Alexander’s empire, but because they weren’t submissive, Alexander decided to conquer them. This provides insight into Alexander’s empire, with the purpose of expressing the merciless personality of a ruthless dictator. After Alexander dies, the book gives a broad overview of different nations striving for power and the outbreak of war, such as the war between Athens and Northern Greece. The breadth dramatically changes halfway through the book, from very specific to very expansive. The book was not organized in a very