In his new book Caesar : Life of a Colossus, Adrian Goldsworthy writes:
Part of the fascination with Caesar is because he is so difficult to pin down and because mysteries remain, for instance, as to what he really intended in the last months of his life. In his fifty-six years he was at times many things, including a fugitive, prisoner, rising politician, army leader, legal advocate, rebel, dictator – perhaps even a god – as well as a husband, father, lover and adulterer. Few fictional heroes have ever done as much as Caius Julius Caesar.
The author explores all this with a full and detailed biography. Being the military historian he is, he especially shines when it comes to Caesar's military exploits.
While not minimizing Caesar’s faults, Mr. Goldsworthy sees him as “a patriot and very able man.” He cannot disguise his admiration for the man, and “[whatever] the rights or wrongs of his actions, it is hard to imagine that in any way his life could have been more dramatic,” taking up the theme from the Introduction. He has given the reader a complex and rounded portrait. The general audience, for whom the book is intended, gets its money’s worth and hopefully will enjoy the book.
The question, “do we really need another book on Caesar?,” can be answered in the affirmative, as a popular history treatment of the subject has been wanting for quite a while, and this one fills the bill.
In the end though, Caesar still remains difficult to pin down, not for want of trying by the author, but because of his truly elusive personality.