Author Archives: Victorhanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

He recently published an historical novel The End of Sparta (2012), a realistic retelling of Epaminondas invasion and liberation of Spartan-control Messenia. In The Father of Us All (2011), he collected earlier essays on warfare ancient and modern. His upcoming history The Savior Generals(2013) analyzes how five generals in the history of the West changed the course of battles against all odds.

He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008.

Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006.

Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 17 books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback., 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization(Free Press, 1995; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000);Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997; The Bay Area Book reviewers Non-fiction winner for 1996); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000; a Los Angeles Times Notable book of the year); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback, 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback, Anchor/Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002; a New York Times bestseller); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003),Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003), and Between War and Peace (Random House, 2004).

A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005. It was named one of the New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2006. Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback, Encounter Press, 2000); with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001); and with Heather MacDonald, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (Ivan Dee 2007). He edited a collection of essays on ancient warfare, Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2010).

Hanson has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Post, National Review, Washington Times, Commentary, The Washington Post, Claremont Review of Books, American Heritage, New Criterion, Policy Review, Wilson Quarterly, Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Fox News, CNN, and C-Span’s Book TV and In-Depth. He serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal.

Since 2001, Hanson has written a weekly column for National Review Online, and in 2004, began his weekly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. In 2006, he also began thrice-weekly blog for Pajamas Media, Works and Days.

Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975, ‘highest honors’ Classics, ‘college honors’, Cowell College), the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (regular member, 1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He divides his time between his forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953, and the Stanford campus.

Did O’Reilly Finally Go Too Far?

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Earlier this month, premier Fox newsman Bill O’Reilly became unhinged on live television. A red-faced O’Reilly loudly and repeatedly called his invited guest, Washington Post columnist and fellow conservative Fox News journalist George Will, a “hack” and accused him of lying.

It was a surreal moment, with stunned viewers no doubt muttering to themselves, “Is the jig finally up?” Read more →

Why Won’t We Call This Islamist Terrorism?

This isn’t an attack on “humanity.”  It’s a war against the West. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // Politico (Europe Edition)

President Obama summed up the jihadist killing in Paris as “an attack not just on Paris.” But rather, he assured us, “This is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”

epa05025424 People place flowers and light candles in tribute for the victims of the 13 November Paris attacks at the foot of the statue on Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 14 November 2015. At least 120 people have been killed in a series of attacks in Paris on 13 November, according to French officials. EPA/IAN LANGSDON

People place flowers and light candles in tribute for the victims of the 13 November Paris attacks at the foot of the statue on Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 14 November 2015. At least 120 people have been killed in a series of attacks in Paris on 13 November, according to French officials. EPA/IAN LANGSDON

But is that assumption true?

Certainly, the president seems as unable to utter the targeted “West” and “Western” as he is the targeter “radical Islam” or “jihadist.”

Were the suicide bombers and the AK-47 shooters who slaughtered the innocent in Paris seeking to destroy the ideology of communist China?

Was their deadly message aimed at the protocols of Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela? The Islamist terrorists — how careful were the president and the American news media to use the generic “they” and the non-specific “the terrorists” — did not seem too concerned with “all of humanity.” By the pattern of their attacks, our enemies seem not to share with the president that all of humanity embraces “universal values.” Read more →

The University Gone Feral

On campus, social norms no longer apply.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Waging The War on ‘Terror,’ Vichy-style

A Tale of Two Shootings

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

Brown Steinle

Photo by Ed

In August of 2014 Michael Brown, 18, 6-foot-4, 290 lbs., robbed a store in Ferguson [1], Missouri. Brown (who apparently had recently used marijuana) assaulted the clerk, then walked down the middle of the street before being stopped by city police officer Darren Wilson, who tentatively matched Brown as one of the possible suspects in the recent robbery.

Brown almost immediately assaulted Wilson and went for his gun, which discharged. He then ran, but reversed course and charged the officer, who shot Brown numerous times until he collapsed and died. Read more →

Conventional wisdom proves ignorance in the presidential race

by Victor Davis Hanson//Tribune Media Services



The current presidential campaign is blowing up lots of political myths.

For years, the conventional lament was that the “wrong” Bush had run for president in 2000. George W. Bush was supposedly tongue-tied. He was said to be polarizing. He was derided as too much the twangy, conservative Texas Christian.

If only his younger, softer-spoken brother, then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, had run instead!

So the myth went. Read more →

Tooth-Gnashing in the Republican Establishment

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Can California Be Saved?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Middle East and Orwellian Historical Arguments

When lies are the foundation of policies.

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via

Photo via

Many of our policy debates and conflicts both domestic and foreign call on history to validate their positions. At home, crimes from the past like slavery and legal segregation are used to justify present policies ranging from racial set asides to housing regulations long after those institutions have been dismantled. Abroad, our jihadist enemies continually evoke the Crusades, “colonialism,” and “imperialism” as justifications for their violence. Yet the “history” used in such fashion is usually one-sided, simplistic, or downright false. Nor is the reason hard to find: as we read in 1984, “Who controls the past . . . controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Bad history is a powerful instrument for gaining political power.

Read more →

Moral Equivalence in the Middle East

The West has developed a dangerous concern for ‘proportionality.’

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
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