Conqueror and Hero Critical Context - Essay

Stephen Krensky

Critical Context

Conqueror and Hero was commissioned by Little, Brown and Company as part of the literature for the exhibit “The Search for Alexander,” which traveled from Greece to several American cities in the early 1980’s. The exhibit included objects from the tomb at Vergina, Macedonia, that its excavator, Manolis Andronikos, suggested was that of Philip II. The book contains photographs of a number of artifacts that were in the exhibit.

Krensky is the writer of many popular books for young readers, including The Dragon Circle (1977), a book about the magical Wynd family’s involvement with dragons who need help to recover treasure lost in a lake; Maiden Voyage: The Story of the Statue of Liberty (1985); and Big Time Bears (1989), in which the activities of a bear family demonstrate the meaning of such units of time as a second, minute, and week. His selection as author of this book was not because he is a biographer or historian, but because he was qualified to write a book for young adult readers that would stand alongside such scholarly books for adults as Robin Lane Fox’s The Search for Alexander (1980). Teachers who have access to the exhibit catalog, which has the same title, will find its illustrations and commentary helpful as a supplement to Krensky’s book.