The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western
Victor Davis Hanson, gives us a book that will completely change our view of Greek society. For Hanson shows that the real “Greek revolution” was not the rise of a free and democratic urban culture, remarkable as this was, but the historic innovation of the independent family farm. The heroes of his book, therefore, are what he calls “the other Greeks” – the neglected freehold farmers, vinegrowers and herdsmen of ancient Greece who formed the backbone of Hellenic civilization. It was these tough-minded, pracitcal, and fiercely independent agrarians, Hanson contends, who gave Greek culture its distinctive emphasis on private property, constitutional government, contractual agreements, infantry warfare, and individual rights.
“Brilliant and moving. . . . Hanson’s informed exploration of the crucial role of the small farmer in the creation of Greek civilization is a much-needed reminder that the artistic and intellectual splendor of Athens’ great age did not spring to life fully formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus; it has its base in the countryside.”
–Bernard Knox, Washington Times