Military Thoughts: From Israel, to Europe and the United States

Join Victor Davis Hanson and cohost Jack Fowler in a conversation on the two-state solution in Israel, old and new urban warfare, generals Robert E. Lee, William T. Sherman and Lloyd Austin, the needs of our modern military, Europe needs to prepare for war, and the hysterical style of our politics.

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7 thoughts on “Military Thoughts: From Israel, to Europe and the United States”


    I’m a fan of both Grant and Lee, understanding how they worked together, both tactically and strategically, as the war progressed. But I have a deeper appreciation of that relationship since reading your books, Professor.

    And right-who cares about Sherman’s alleged dalliances?! It’s a footnote, at the most.

  2. I’ve become addicted to Victor Davis Hanson’s calm, measured, and inciteful views on this podcast. I am already hysterical when I see the news, or hear what the left is up to, I don’t need more vitriol. I need facts. I need to understand how we arrived in this place where our rights and freedoms are being ignored. Victor’s commentary on news events provides me with the facts and history I need to know and share with others. He is an invaluable source for knowledge and critical thinking. It has been said before, but I’ll say it again – May God protect Victor Davis Hanson, he is a national treasure!

  3. Jack Fowler might be interested to learn that William Tecumseh Sherman’s son was a Jesuit priest.
    In the spring of 1878, General William T. Sherman opened a letter from his oldest son Thomas, a young man for whom he held great hopes. At 22, Tom had studied at Georgetown and Yale, and had graduated from law school. Sherman envisioned a bright future for Tom, one which would ensure the family’s security. The letter, however, left him shocked, distressed, even furious.

    Tom wrote that he wasn’t going to continue as a lawyer, but was joining the Jesuits that summer. The General told Tom in no uncertain terms that he had betrayed him, his sisters and mother, who looked to him for support in their old age. (He always felt his army salary didn’t go far enough.) It’s not clear that Sherman ever fully forgave his son.

    While Mrs. Sherman, a devout Catholic, was overjoyed, her husband held a lifelong skepticism toward religion in general and Catholicism in particular. Born Tecumseh Sherman to Protestant parents, he was orphaned early and raised by Catholic neighbors who insisted on his being re-baptized. His baptism occurred on June 28, 1829, the feast of St. William, and he was renamed William Tecumseh.

    Sherman “refused to call himself a Catholic or practice that creed.” Yet his children were all raised Catholic. Ellen Sherman actively supported Catholic causes, numbering many priests, bishops and even cardinals among her close acquaintances. The General, however, frequently berated


      “Sherman “refused to call himself a Catholic or practice that creed.” Yet his children were all raised Catholic.”

      That’s not as much of a contradiction as your statement might suggest.

      It’s a typical condition of marriages between a Catholic and a member of a different church. It’s usually a condition that the non-Catholic agrees to, that any children would be raised in the Catholic faith. I’m Catholic because of that. My mother was a Catholic, my father was a Presbyterian at the time they married (he subsequently converted to Catholicism). He had to agree that my brother and I would be raised Catholic.

      I don’t know of anyone presented with the condition who turned it down, but there must be some. That must be uncomfortable, if the bridal couple can’t agree.

    2. W.T.Sherman’s wife and some children lived in South Bend, Indiana and attended St Mary’s College and Notre Dame during the Civil War; one of their young children was buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. In fact, Ewing Avenue on the south side of South Bend was named after the Ewing family.

      Here is an interesting excerpt about this history:

  4. I find the idea of Sherman’s nobility and the righteousness of his cause difficult to accept.

    As he was burning Wade Hampton’s plantation did he have the same contempt for Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or George Washington? After all, they too were wealthy plantation owners.

    Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, yet owned slaves and even had a mulatto girlfriend (Sally Hemings).

    James Madison wrote much of our Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, yet owned slaves and profited from their toil.

    George Washington was the hero of Yorktown and our first president, yet his plantation at Mount Vernon used scores of slaves. He did free them at the time of his death, but he obviously took full advantage of them while he was alive.

    We honor all of these men as they are venerated in our textbooks. The portraits of Jefferson and Washington are printed on our money, and their respective plantations are national monuments.

    if the destruction of the peculiar institution of slavery was the rallying cry of the Civil War why do we honor Jefferson, Madison, and Washington and essentially whitewash their sins?

    1. Charles Carroll

      We honor them because they ultimately brought about the United States of America. Many of the founding fathers were worried that the southern colonies would refuse to join the Union if slavery was not permitted. Is that bad? Of course it is, but many were worried that England would reassert herself if her former colonies remained fragmented. They considered that to be worse.

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