Gottschall’s study of Homer is prudent, patient, thoroughly researched and very smart. – William Deresiewicz, The Nation
Gottschall escorts us to the rich but sparsely inhabited borderland between anthropology, biology, and literary analysis, where he has found gold. The Rape of Troyis an original and important contribution to all three of these fields, and a very good read in addition. –Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University.
The Rape of Troy is, above all, a brilliant little book – so brilliant that I wish it were less little. It crackles with intellectual vigor, academic rigor, and the prospect of triggering a revolution in research at the intersection of anthropology, biology, and literature…..[Gottschall’s] account of “Homeric tragedy” rises to a level of sanguinary poetry that might make Cormac McCarthy envious. –David Barash, Journal of Human Biology.
There is no way to get bored with Gottschall. He has written a small masterpiece of evolutionary-literary analysis. Only someone with such a thorough knowledge of Homer and Homeric scholarship as he has could do this. This ability to marry disciplines with confidence and authority is rare and should be cherished….For a Homeric moment let us be free to wonder and applaud. Robin Fox, Evolutionary Psychology
This is a fine book in a vigorous style with a delightfully fresh take on an old story. The best book on Homer I’ve read in years. Barry Powell, Department of Classics, University of Wisconsin.
A rare combination of literature and science, The Rape of Troy presents an innovative study of the world of Homer from the perspective of evolutionary theory. The results are striking, highly readable and guaranteed to provoke much thought on an always topical and urgent question: what are the causes of violence? Hans van Wees, University College London, Author of Status Warriors and Greek Warfare
Though serious in its purpose of advancing knowledge, The Rape of Troy is also powerfully literary. Gottschall became imaginatively absorbed in the Homeric poems, and through the often virtuoso quality of his interpretive rhetoric, he enables the reader to share in his responsiveness to Homer’s poetry. When we speak of criticism that “impresses us with the power, richness, and responsiveness of the critic’s mind,” it is to criticism of this quality that we refer. Joseph Carroll, University of Missouri, Style
Stimulating. Elizabeth Minchin, Journal of Hellenic Studies.
Jonathan Gottschall has conquered the oldest and craggiest peak of Western literature, The Iliad, by a new face. He stakes out the Darwin route to Homer so directly and clearly that he makes the climb inviting and inspiring even to curious newcomers without high-altitude evolutionary training. And the vista he opens up offers us a chance to look in multiple directions: at Homer, at literary evolutionism and its possibilities, and at Gottschall’s role in exploring this new route to discovery. Brian Boyd, Philosophy and Literature.