Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Athens

Why Should We Study War?

Military history tells the story of human nature at its great heights and terrible lows.

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas 

In the latter years of World War I, Winston Churchill met with the novelist and poet Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon was a winner of the Military Cross––he single-handedly routed 60 Germans and captured a trench on the Hindenburg Line––and a fierce pacifist. Sassoon’s reminiscences of that meeting reveal how odd my title question would have struck most people before our time. He recalled that during their conversation, Churchill “gave me an emphatic vindication of militarism as an instrument of policy and stimulator of glorious individual achievements.” Read more →

The Rule of Law?

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner 

When his pet businesses did not like elements of the Affordable Care Act, Obama simply exempted them. When employers objected that their mandate would unduly hamper job creation, the president simply ignored the settled law and exempted them. Now, when millions have lost their coverage, the president is said to be ready to again reinterpret settled law and no longer demand that private insurance plans conform to the ACA statute, at least for a year. Read more →

Revolutionary Tribunals

Our courts have too often become expressions of the popular will.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

In ancient Athens, popular courts of paid jurors helped institutionalize fairness. If a troublemaker like Socrates was thought to be a danger to the popular will, then he was put on trial for inane charges like “corrupting the youth” or “introducing new gods.” Read more →

Book Review: The Savior Generals – The Tough Who Got Going

by Mark Moyar

Wall Street Journal

For a police chief, keeping the streets of Beverly Hills safe will probably never qualify as an act of great leadership, if only because the task itself lacks a certain degree of difficulty. Read more →

Why Do Societies Give Up?

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

Why do once-successful societies ossify and decline?

Hundreds of reasons have been adduced for the fall of Rome and the end of the Old Regime in 18th-century France. Read more →

Messengers, Messages, and Voters: Part 2

by Bruce Thornton

FrontPage

 

At their retreat in Williamsburg a few weeks ago House Republicans continued the post-mortem of November’s debacle. A big topic was how to better market the Republican brand. A Domino’s Pizza executive gave “a well-received talk about selling a damaged brand to a modern audience,” asNational Review Online reported. Read more →

War’s Paradoxes II: From the Peloponnesian War to ‘Leading From Behind’

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

1. Why Did Athens Lose the Peloponnesian War?

It really did not in a way: Athens no more lost the war than Hitler did the Second World War between September 1939 and May 1941. Read more →

Explaining the Democrats’ Success

by Bruce Thornton

FrontPage Magazine

The election postmortem has identified all manner of causes for the Republicans’ defeat, from the “woman problem” and the “Hispanic problem,” as Peggy Noonan put it, to Romney’s fat cat persona and his inept campaign. But there’s a simpler reason, one consistent with the critics of democracy starting in ancient Athens — Obama and the Democrats promised voters more free stuff. Read more →

Sophocles in Benghazi

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

What separated the great Athenian tragedian Sophocles from dozens of his contemporaries — now mere names attached to fragments and quotations — were his unmatched characters, an Ajax, Antigone, or Oedipus whose proverbially fatal flaws ultimately led to their own self-destruction. Read more →

Greece Alone and Broke–Again

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

The recent indecisive Greek elections could be summed up by two general themes: Greeks want to stay in, and expect help from, the Eurozone. But they still do not want to take the necessary medicine to stop borrowing billions of euros from northern Europeans, who want a radical Greek reform of the tax code, deregulation of labor laws, fiscal discipline, massive cuts in bureaucracy, and greater transparency — all unlikely given Greek history and contemporary culture. Read more →

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