Category Archives: Literature

‘Duty,’ and the Taint of the Tell-All

Robert Gates’s insider memoir is the latest in a dishonorable genre.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

For all the hysteria over former defense secretary Robert Gates’s new insider memoir of his tenure during the Bush and Obama administrations, the disclosures are more breaches of trust than earth-shattering revelations. Much of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War is the ordinary stuff of public service.dutygates1388871061

What little gossip in the book there is that may be controversial — revelations that both Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cynically opposed the successful Bush-era surge in Iraq on political grounds, or that Vice President Joe Biden is a buffoonish blowhard — was already common knowledge to many Americans.

Gates sees himself as reluctantly drawn to Washington to help rescue the fading Bush administration’s unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, he grudgingly stayed on at the Defense Department, apparently to add some sobriety to an at times comically inexperienced new Obama team.

There is a long tradition of retired court insiders revealing unflattering details about their bosses before they leave office — and it is not uplifting. The Roman court insider Petronius thought he could get away with caricaturing the buffoonish emperor Nero through his racy novel The Satyricon. Read more →

The Launch of the Freedom Academy

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Today launches the Freedom Academy®, a project some 18 months in the making. In the FA-homepage-9_23_13_01present age, we need a meeting place where people can rediscover what freedom entails and appreciate the origins and role of liberty. The majority of Americans yearn for a rebirth of these values that have sustained Western civilization, and birthed the American experiment. Such reverence for our heritage and origins is why we at PJ Media will offer a variety of ways to understand our present dilemmas through an appreciation of past ideas and events.

Despite all the contemporary upheavals in Washington—whether over the government shutdown, debt-ceiling increase, or Obamacare—we can be certain that history remains both our gateway to the future and our window to the past. The political strife we are witnessing is not new, but a continuance of the age-old struggle between the tragic and therapeutic views of the human condition, over the collision of history and humanities with the social sciences, and the liberty of the individual pitted against the coercive power of the collective. Read more →

Victor Davis Hanson on the ‘Savior Generals

by Paul Schnee // FrontPage Magazine

Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, former classics professor, scholar of ancient warfare, a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution and the author of some 20 books. He has been a commentator on modern warfare and contemporary politics for National Review and is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Tribune Media Group. Thus, it was particularly interesting to hear him talk about his new book, “The Savior Generals,” at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Wednesday Morning Club luncheon held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on August 12th.

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‘Uncommon Knowledge:’ Victor Davis Hanson

urlMilitary historian Victor Davis Hanson discusses his latest book “The Savior Generals” with Peter Robinson. Hanson identifies the shared characteristics of generals throughout history who saved wars deemed “lost.” “Uncommon Knowledge” is produced by the Hoover Institution. Read more →

CSPAN After Words with VDH

Same old warfare?

by Victor Davis Hanson // TLS

A Review of three books:

Saltpeter: The mother of gunpowder by David Cressy (Oxford University Press, 237pp)

Napalm by Robert M. Neer (Belknap Press, 310pp)

Warrior Geeks: How twenty-first-century technology is changing the way we fight and think about war by Christopher Coker (US: Columbia University Press, 330pp) Read more →

C-Span: After Words with Victor Davis Hanson

VDH talks about his new book, The Savior Generals: How Five Commanders Saved Wars that Were Lost – From Ancient Greece to Iraq with Kim Kagan, president and founder of the Institute for the Study of War

Can the Human Mind Explain Itself?

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

A Review of Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, Thomas Nagel. Oxford University Press, 2012.  128 pages.  $24.95 Read more →

Ready for Battle

Five generals who turned the tide.

by Victorino Matus

The Weekly Standard

The military historian Victor Davis Hanson was in Washington, D.C., to promote his latest book, The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost—From Ancient Greece to Iraq. Read more →

“The Hoplite Narrative,” by Victor Davis Hanson

A chapter from Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece

Edited by Donald Kagan & Gregory F. Viggiano

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