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Alexandrian Anger

December 06, 1985

The field of pop psychology is dominated by claims and ideas which are not subject to the normal forms of verification. History is another thing, however. On "Nov. 27, Beth Ann Krier's article ended with the words, ". . . Alexander the Great conquered Europe without 'The One-Minute Manager,' without 'Megatrends,' without 'In Search of Excellence,' but he would have lived longer if he had 'The Anger Work-Out Book' " (author Hank Weisinger quoted in "Some Tips for Working Out Your Anger").

It is generally agreed that Alexander did not conquer Europe, but that he inherited Greece and Macedonia from his father, Philip, and made one quick raid north toward the Danube to secure his rear, then invaded Asia (the Persian Empire and some of India) and Africa (Egypt with a side trip to the area of Lybia). He never returned to Europe.

It is true that some of Alexander's friends and associates may well have lived longer had he controlled his temper but it is also generally agreed that he died of malaria or possibly cholera picked up in the marshy regions of Babylon, where he died. There is no evidence that I have ever seen that indicates that anger had anything to do with it.

SPENCER BOLES

Riverside

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