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Donald J. Trump triumphed over sixteen well-qualified Republican rivals, a Democrat with a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, and a hostile media and Washington establishment to become President of the United States -- and an extremely successful one at that. Award-winning historian Victor Davis Hanson sets Trump in his broad political and social context to explain his ongoing appeal to American voters. Hanson is not naive about Trump's behavior, but ultimately sees him as a tragic political character from a Sophocles play or an American Western. His accomplishments are a direct result of his personal excesses, and his bold decisiveness has brought long-overdue changes in foreign and domestic policy. While Hanson acknowledges that we could not survive a series of Trump presidencies, half the population wanted some outsider, even with a dubious past, to ride in and do things that most normal politicians not only would not but could not do -- before exiting stage left or riding off into the sunset. The paperback is updated with new material covering Trump's presidency since the midterm elections, where the hardcover edition left off.
World War II sent the youth of the world across the globe in odd alliances against each other. Never before had a conflict been fought simultaneously in so many diverse landscapes on premises that often seemed unrelated. Never before had a conflict been fought in so many different ways - from rocket attacks on London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya. It was only in time that these battles coalesced into one war. In The Second World Wars, esteemed military historian Victor Davis Hanson examines how and why this happened, focusing in detail on how the war was fought in the air, at sea, and on land-and thus where, when, and why the Allies won. Throughout, Hanson also situates World War II squarely within the history of war in the West over the past 2,500 years. In profound ways, World War II was unique: the most lethal event in human history, with 50 million dead, the vast majority of them civilians. But, as Hanson demonstrates, the war's origins were not entirely novel; it was reformulations of ancient ideas of racial and cultural superiority that fueled the global bloodbath.
In The Case for Trump, acclaimed historian and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson explains how a celebrity businessman with no political or military experience triumphed over sixteen well-qualified Republican rivals, a Democrat with a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, and a hostile media and Washington establishment to become President of the United States--and an extremely successful president at that. Hanson sets Trump in his broad political and social context to explain Trump's and ongoing political appeal to a broad swath of American voters. Growing anger at globalization, a stalled economy, immigration, costly and unfruitful overseas interventions, perceived poor trade deals, and political correctness meant by 2016 that if there were not a loud Trump outsider, he would likely have had to be invented. Trump and Trump alone saw a political opening in defending the forgotten working classes of the interior, who were alienated not only by Democrats but by elite republican candidates. (In 2012, one Republican taxi driver explained his decision to sit out the election altogether: Geez, Romney came to Michigan wearing his wing-tips with starched jeans! ) And despite the apocalyptic imaginings of both the Left and the Never Trump Right, one year into his presidency Trump boasts an impressive record of achievement of a kind rarely attained by an incoming president. Trump has realized economic and foreign policy results not seen in a generation, cutting through stasis and dismantling a corrupt old order. Hanson is not naive about Trump's self-destructive behavior (the relentless tweeting, the threats to fire Mueller and so on) but ultimately sees him as a kind of tragic political hero, something out a Sophocles play or an American Western. His accomplishments are a direct result of his personal excesses--the fact that he is not traditionally presidential has enabled him to bring long-overdue changes in foreign and domestic policy. We could not survive a series of presidencies as volatile as Trump's, Hanson acknowledges. But given the direction of the country over the last 16 years, half the population, the proverbial townspeople of the western, wanted some outsider, even with a dubious past, to ride in and do things that most normal politicians not only would not but could not do -- before exiting stage left or riding off into the sunset.
A definitive account of World War II by America's preeminent military historian World War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya. The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory. An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.
A definitive account of World War II by America's preeminent military historianWorld War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya.The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory.An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.
Incorporating research found in ancient literary, iconographic, epigraphic, and archaeological sources, this book explores the experiences of the soldiers who conducted battle on the small plains of ancient Greece. The volume, which draws on the accumulated expertise of nine American and British scholars, emphasizes the actual techniques of fighting and practical concerns as the use of commands, music in warfare, the use of dog-tags , and ritual on the battlefield.
With humor, lucidity, and unflinching rigor, the acclaimed authors ofWho Killed Homer?andPlagues of the Mindunsparingly document the degeneration of a central, if beleaguered, disciplineclassicsand reveal the root causes of its decline. Hanson, Heath, and Thornton point to academics themselvestheir careerist ambitions, incessant self-promotion, and overspecialized scholarship, among other thingsas the progenitors of the crisis, and call for a return to ';academic populism,' an approach characterized by accessible, unspecialized writing, selfless commitment to students and teaching, and respect for the legacy of freedom and democracy that the ancients bequeathed to the West.
In this prequel to the now-classic Makers of Modern Strategy, Victor Davis Hanson, a leading scholar of ancient military history, gathers prominent thinkers to explore key facets of warfare, strategy, and foreign policy in the Greco-Roman world. From the Persian Wars to the final defense of the Roman Empire, Makers of Ancient Strategy demonstrates that the military thinking and policies of the ancient Greeks and Romans remain surprisingly relevant for understanding conflict in the modern world. The book reveals that much of the organized violence witnessed today--such as counterterrorism, urban fighting, insurgencies, preemptive war, and ethnic cleansing--has ample precedent in the classical era. The book examines the preemption and unilateralism used to instill democracy during Epaminondas's great invasion of the Peloponnesus in 369 BC, as well as the counterinsurgency and terrorism that characterized Rome's battles with insurgents such as Spartacus, Mithridates, and the Cilician pirates. The collection looks at the urban warfare that became increasingly common as more battles were fought within city walls, and follows the careful tactical strategies of statesmen as diverse as Pericles, Demosthenes, Alexander, Pyrrhus, Caesar, and Augustus. Makers of Ancient Strategy shows how Greco-Roman history sheds light on wars of every age. In addition to the editor, the contributors are David L. Berkey, Adrian Goldsworthy, Peter J. Heather, Tom Holland, Donald Kagan, John W. I. Lee, Susan Mattern, Barry Strauss, and Ian Worthington.
The Greeks of the classical age invented not only the central idea of Western politics - that the power of state should be guided by a majority of its citizens - but also the central act of Western warfare, the decisive infantry battle. Instead of ambush, skirmish, or combat between individual heroes, the Greeks of the fifth century B.C. devised a ferocious, brief, and destructive head-on clash between armed men of all ages. In this bold, original study, Victor Davis Hanson shows how this brutal enterprise was dedicated to the same outcome as consensual government - an unequivocal, instant resolution to dispute. Linking this new style of fighting to the rise of constitutional government, Hanson raises new issues and questions old assumptions about the history of war. A new preface addresses recent scholarship on Greek warfare.
Massive illegal immigration from Mexico into California, Victor Davis Hanson writes, coupled with a loss of confidence in the old melting pot model of transforming newcomers into Americans, is changing the very nature of state. Yet we Californians have been inadequate in meeting this challenge, both failing to control our borders with Mexico and to integrate the new alien population into our mainstream. Part history, part political analysis, and part memoir, Mexifornia is an intensely personal work by one of our most important writers. Hanson is perhaps known best for his military histories and especially his social commentary about America and its response to terror after 9/11. But he is also a fifth-generation Californian who runs a family farm in the Central Valley and has written eloquent elegies for the decline of the small farm such as Fields Without Dreams and The Land Was Everything. Like these books, Mexifornia is an intensely personal look at what has changed in California over the last quarter century. In this case, however, Hanson's focus is on how not only California, the Southwest, and indeed the entire nation has been affected by America's hemorrhaging borders and how those hurt worst are the Mexican immigrants themselves. A large part of the problem, Hanson believes, comes from the opportunistic coalition that stymies immigration reform and, even worse, stifles an honest discussion of a growing problem. Conservative corporations, contractors, and agribusiness demand cheap wage labor from Mexico, whatever the social consequences. Meanwhile, progressive academics, journalists, government bureaucrats, and La Raza advocates envision illegal aliens as a vast new political constituency for those committed to the notion that victimhood, not citizenship, is the key to advancement. The problems Hanson identifies may have reached critical mass in California, but they affect Americans who inhabit Mexizona, Mexichusetts and other states of becoming. Hanson writes wistfully about his own growing up in the Central Valley when he was one of a handful of non-Hispanics in his elementary school and when his teachers saw it as their mission to give all students, Hispanic and white alike, a passport to the American Dream. He follows the fortunes of Hispanic friends he has known all his life--how they have succeeded in America and how they regard the immigration crisis. But if Mexifornia is emotionally generous at the strength and durability of the groups that have made California strong, it is also an indictment of the policies that got California into its present mess. But in the end, Hanson strongly believes that our traditions of assimilation, integration, and intermarriage may yet remedy a problem that the politicians and ideologues have allowed to get out of hand.
This is a brilliant history of the rise to dominance of the West, exploring the links between cultural values and military success. Instead of weighing up the West through its cultural and literary accomplishments, Hanson engages with the much starker record of the Western battlefield. In place of The Great Books, he studies The Great Battles, and offers graphic representations of nine representative clashes between West and non-West. Hanson writes uncommonly well about battle, and has an uncanny ability to evoke the chaos and terror of warfare, so crystallising his argument into records of a few hours of intense combat. Hanson argues that the West has won not just because of technology and military might, but because of its focus on individualism, democratic political structures, and scientific rationalism. However this is no mere Eurocentric account of the steady millennia-long rise of Western power. Rather, it is an explanation of why the West finds itself now militarily unmatched, its values spreading around the globe - sometimes with devastating effects on local cultures which have at times adopted the worst of what European traditions have offered or imposed.
With humor, lucidity, and unflinching rigor, the acclaimed authors of Who Killed Homer? and Plagues of the Mind unsparingly document the degeneration of a central if beleagured discipline -- classics -- and reveal the root causes of its decline. Hanson, Heath, and Thornton point to academics themselves -- their careerist ambitions, incessant self-promotion, and overspecialized scholarship, among other things -- as the progenitors of the crisis. They call for a return to academic populism, an approach characterized by accessible, unspecialized writing, selfless commitment to students and teaching, and respect for the legacy of freedom and democracy that the ancients bequeathed to the West.
For generations, scholars have focused on the rise of the Greek city-state and its brilliant cosmopolitan culture as the ultimate source of the Western tradition in literature, philosophy, and politics. This passionate book leads us outside the city walls to the countryside, where the vast majority of the Greek citizenry lived, to find the true source of the cultural wealth of Greek civilization. Victor Hanson shows that the real 'Greek revolution' was not merely the rise of a free and democratic urban culture, but rather the historic innovation of the independent family farm. The farmers, vinegrowers, and herdsmen of ancient Greece are 'the other Greeks,' who formed the backbone of Hellenic civilization. It was these tough-minded, practical, 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. Hanson's reconstruction of ancient Greek farm life, informed by hands-on knowledge of the subject (he is a fifth-generation California vine- and fruit-grower) is fresh, comprehensive, and absorbing. His detailed chronicle of the rise and tragic fall of the Greek city-state also helps us to grasp the implications of what may be the single most significant trend in American life today - the imminent extinction of the family farm.