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Ripples of Battle by [Victor Davis Hanson]

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Ripples of Battle Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 128 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“What [Hanson] brings to the public discussion–along with an unusually vigorous prose style and a remarkable erudition–is a philosophy of war not meant for the weak—kneed or faint—hearted. Hanson does not celebrate war, but he accepts it as a fact of life, a part of the human condition that no amount of idealistic preaching or good intentions can will away.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Victor Davis Hanson is refreshingly unabashed about being an old-fashioned military historian . . . [and] he displays an exceptional chronological sweep.” --The Washington Post Book World

“What’s most impressive about Hanson’s work is his constant reminder that history is not just a faceless story of economic and social progress, but also one about the strength of individuals, brought to life here in masterly prose.” --The Christian Science Monitor

“His premise is fascinating and well executed. . . . A great little book. . . . Hanson is a superb storyteller and a clear and concise writer.” --The Washington Times



From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

With this usefully idiosyncratic and provocative work, Hanson may succeed the late Stephen Ambrose as America's laureate of military history. But where Ambrose's tone is ultimately elegiac, reflecting on the deeds and character of a past "greatest generation," Hanson's is sharp edged and confrontational, linking past history and present policy. Even before the September 11 attacks brought him to national prominence as a commentator and analyst, Hanson's postulating of a "Western way of war" based on seeking decisive battle (not a given throughout the world) had gained wide attention. Ripples furthers this argument via three disparate battles, treated in reverse chronological order, taking the reader from more to less familiar territory to show its arc. On WWII Okinawa, the Japanese proved an inferior force could inflict significant damage by suicide tactics; U.S. forces responded by defining victory in the most extreme way possible: killing as many of the enemy as the could (rather than, say, seeking to gain a particular piece of ground). The Civil War's Shiloh set William T. Sherman on his path as a democratic war maker committed to both the defeat and the reconstruction of America's foes, while at the same time inaugurating the enduring Confederate myth of a "stolen victory" via Albert Sidney Johnston's death at the battle's climax. It also marked the beginning of Nathan Bedford Forrest's meteoric rise as symbol and avatar of the "unyielding South," which persisted long after 1865. The Battle of Delium, fought in 424 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War, was the first defeat Athens suffered that involved high casualties at the hands of Theban/Boeotian opponents, and it directly affected large numbers of thinkers, writers and statesmen-including Socrates, one of the survivors. The severity of the battle shaped the Western "decisive" approach that survives to the present. Hanson's conclusions show the threads of these battles in the garments of the war on terror. Some of his last points may seem forced to some readers, but he makes them with conviction and a genuine sense of wanting history to provide valuable lessons.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000FC2JNO
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anchor (October 12, 2004)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 12, 2004
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 678 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 128 ratings

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Victor Davis Hanson is Professor of Greek and Director of the Classics Program at California State University, Fresno. He is the author or editor of many books, including Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (with John Heath, Free Press, 1998), and The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999). In 1992 he was named the most outstanding undergraduate teacher of classics in the nation.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
128 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Semper Victor
5.0 out of 5 stars Histoire bataille et « longue durée »
Reviewed in France on August 6, 2012
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