Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Peloponnesian War

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 →

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 →

A Summer With Virgil

by Bruce S. Thornton

Defining Ideas

“To read the Latin & Greek authors in their original,” Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “is a sublime luxury.” Fortunately, for those who don’t read Greek and Latin, the great works of Classical literature are available in first-rate translations. The following five classics are some of the best works from the astonishing variety and brilliance of Greek and Roman literature. Read more →

More Rubble, Less Trouble

by Victor Davis Hanson

Defining Ideas

Western Warfare, as originated by the Greeks and systematized by the Romans, took various forms over the ensuing two millennia. European militaries put greater emphasis on decisive battles such as Gaugamela or Kursk. They focused on collective discipline, the importance of staying in rank, superior technology, and logistics. Read more →

A Novel VDH

Reliving the fall of Sparta: An interview.

by Katheryn Jean Lopez

National Review Online

Victor Davis Hanson, known as VDH to his fans, has a new book out. This time, it’s a novel, The End of Sparta. He talked with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about the Greeks and the novel. Read more →

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