Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: History

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 →

Barack Obama and the Bad Ideas of Progressivism

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine 

Barack Obama’s serial gross incompetence has elicited all sorts of explanatory theories. He’s a closet socialist, an Alinskyite radical, a secret Muslim, or an anti-American internationalist. Though some of Obama’s words and deeds give support to all these speculations, I prefer a simpler explanation. Obama is a Progressive––not a vague “progressive,” the elastic moniker liberals started using when the word “liberal” became politically toxic. Read more →

Surreal and Suicidal: Modern Western Histories of Islam

by Raymond Ibrahim // RaymondIbrahim.com 

The full magnitude of the modern West’s ignorance of its own past recently struck via RaymondIbrahim.comme while rereading some early history books concerning the centuries-long jihad on Europe.   The historical narrative being disseminated today simply bears very little resemblance to reality.

Consider some facts for a moment:

A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the jihad burst out of Arabia.  Leaving aside all the thousands of miles of ancient lands and civilizations that were permanently conquered, today casually called the “Islamic world”—including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and parts of India and China—much of Europe was also, at one time or another, conquered by the sword of Islam. Read more →

Prestige and Power in Statecraft

History teaches us that nations must always respond vigorously to an enemy’s challenge, a lesson the U.S. should remember in Syria.

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas

President Obama, responding to widespread criticisms that his handling of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis was clumsy and ad hoc, said, “I’m less concerned about style points, I’m much more concerned about getting the policy right.” For the president and many politicians in both parties, problems, whether domestic or foreign, are about policy solutions; perceptions of the policy or its implementation, what Obama calls “style,” are irrelevant. As he said about Syria, “The chemical weapons issue is a problem. I want that problem dealt with.” Read more →

“The End of Sparta” — A Review

A classicist’s exemplary historical novel.

by Albert Louis Zambone // BooksandCulture.com

imagesClassicists should infuriate other humanists, in the way that the handsome scholar-athlete who volunteers to help dyslexic children and is a genuinely nice guy should infuriate the guy who just made it onto the football team and has a hard time keeping up his GPA, or the kid with the great GPA who can’t do a pull-up—but they don’t hate him, because he’s just so good. That, at least, is how this historian feels whenever he reads a classicist.

These feelings of bitter self-recrimination are a normal part of the intellectual life, according to most intellectuals, but especially strong within me because I have just finished Victor Davis Hanson’s The End of Sparta, first published in 2011 and issued in paperback this spring. It was an absolutely infuriating experience. Isn’t enough for Hanson to have conceived of a genuinely original theory for the development of classical Greece? Can’t he be satisfied with roiling the waters of military history with his arguments for a “western Read more →

On Poking Animals and Other Stupid Things

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner

There are lots of reasons why many of us who would like to punish the Assad-family regime for its long history of anti-American and savage and genocidal conduct fear the present course is unwise, not in America’s interest, and dangerous — at least as it has so far been articulated. Read more →

What Is the Syria Plan?

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner

We are on the verge of a war with Syria. Yet I don’t think the administration has as of yet articulated what its aims are and thus is confused about the means of obtaining them. Is the point of the impending military action to remove Assad, engage his opposition, and foster a consensual society in his place, as if the U.S. can at last do

what so far the Arab Spring has not? To destroy enough of his assets to allow the insurgents (but who exactly are they?) to rebound somewhat? To establish a new American-enforced global statute that WMD use is not permissible in a way that a Rwanda, Grozny, or the Sudan apparently was? To Read more →

Our Contrary President

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Remember the “contrary” Sioux warrior from Little Big Man? He did everything backwards––said “hello” for “goodbye,” washed in sand instead of water. Our president is the foreign policy contrary. He has gotten backwards every maxim of proven wisdom for dealing with the rest of the world. Teddy Roosevelt counseled, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” but Obama has spoken loudly and carried a little stick. Churchill said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.” Obama can be always counted on to do the wrong thing––before he’s tried anything else. The Roman general Sulla was “no better friend, and no worse enemy.” 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.

Read more →

Needed: A Tragic Hero

In good times, the larger-than-life figure is an affront; in crisis, he is necessary.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Tragic heroes — from Sophocles’ Ajax and Antigone to the Western films’ Shane and Woodrow Call — can be defined in a variety of ways. But the searcherscommon archetype is a larger-than-life figure. He is endowed with extraordinary gifts and sometimes even more monumental flaws. Fate decrees that even his departure or self-destruction will be memorable.

Read more →

%d bloggers like this: