Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Western Literature

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 →

Why Read Old Books?

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

We all know the usual reasons why we are prodded to read the classics — moving characters, seminal ideas, blueprints of our culture, and paradigms of sterling prose and poetry. Then we nod and snooze. Read more →

Journalists as Ring Wraiths

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Today’s Washington journalists are like J. R. R. Tolkien’s ring wraiths, petty lords who wanted a few shiny golden Obama rings — only to end up as shrunken slaves to the One. 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 →

Culture Matters

by Bruce S. Thornton

City Journal

Review of Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy, by Ibn Warraq, (Encounter, 2011, 286 pp.) Read more →

So Why Read Anymore?

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

Is Reading Good Books Over?

There is great “truth and beauty” in Homer’s Iliad [1], but I would not try to make his sale on such platitudes. Read more →

A Vandalized Valley

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

I am starting to feel as if I am living in a Vandal state, perhaps on the frontier near Carthage around AD 530, or in a beleaguered Rome in 455. Here are some updates from the rural area surrounding my farm, taken from about a 30-mile radius. In this take, I am not so much interested in chronicling the flotsam and jetsam as in fathoming whether there is some ideology that drives it. Read more →

Why Does the Good Life End?

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

A Look Back

People just don’t disappear. Look at Germany in 1946 or Athenians in 339 B.C. Read more →

Running Scared of Islam

by Bruce S. Thornton

Advancing a Free Society

One of Broadway’s big hits this season is the musical The Book of Mormon, a creation of the scatological geniuses behind the cartoon South Park. As one would expect, the show is “blasphemous, scurrilous and more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue streak,” as the New York Times put it, satirizing every dimension of Mormonism from its obligatory missionary work to the planet Kolob God supposedly lived on or near. Read more →

%d bloggers like this: