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The Marines' march up to Baghdad; Sherman's trail of destruction in Georgia; an army of Missouri volunteers trekking across the Great Plains to Mexico - this wide-ranging and imaginative book tells for the first time the story of how American armies from the sands of Iraq to the halls of the Montezumas have followed figuratively in the footsteps of the original "Anabasis", the famous Greek march into the interior of Asia made by Xenophon and the Ten Thousand in 400 BC. Starting with the Iraq War, Tim Rood turns back to the conquest of the American West and to the Civil War, showing how one of the most famous episodes in classical antiquity was first appropriated in the name of military expansion, and then used to express conficting responses to the most controversial campaign of the Civil War. Allusions to Xenophon in speeches, newspapers reports, and military memoirs are throughout read against Xenophon's own story. Taking in American culture from the fiction of Thomas Wolfe to the drawings of Cy Twombly, "American Anabasis" will be of interest to anyone who wants to discover why Xenophon's classical story has proved so rich a symbol for the American journey.
by Tim Rood