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Encyclopedia > Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson giving a lecture at Kenyon College.
Victor Davis Hanson giving a lecture at Kenyon College.

Victor Davis Hanson (born 1953 in Fowler, California) is a conservative military historian, columnist, political essayist and former classics professor, best known as a scholar of ancient warfare as well as a commentator on modern warfare. He is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 791 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (2544 × 1928 pixel, file size: 5. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 791 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (2544 × 1928 pixel, file size: 5. ... Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, founded in 1824 by Bishop Philander Chase of the The Episcopal Church, in parallel with the Bexley Hall seminary. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... Fowler is a city located in Fresno County, California. ... This article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... An historian is someone who writes history, a written accounting of the past. ... A columnist is a journalist who produces a specific form of writing for publication called a column. Columns appear in newspapers, magazines and the Internet. ... Classics, particularly within the Western University tradition, when used as a singular noun, means the study of the language, literature, history, art, and other aspects of Greek and Roman culture during the time frame known as classical antiquity. ... For other uses of War, see War (disambiguation). ... Raisins Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. ... Agrarianism is a social and political philosophy. ...

Contents

Early life, education and today

Hanson grew up on a family farm at Selma, in the San Joaquin Valley of California. His mother was a lawyer and judge, his father an educator and college administrator. Along with his older brother and fraternal twin, he attended public schools and graduated from Selma High School. Hanson received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz (1975) and his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University (1980). Selma is a city in Fresno County, California. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Bachelor of Arts (B.A., BA or A.B.), from the Latin Artium Baccalaureus is an undergraduate bachelors degree awarded for either a course or a program in the liberal arts or the sciences, or both. ... The University of California, Santa Cruz, also known as UCSC or UC Santa Cruz, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph. ... Classics, particularly within the Western University tradition, when used as a singular noun, means the study of the language, literature, history, art, and other aspects of Greek and Roman culture during the time frame known as classical antiquity. ... The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University (or simply Stanford), is a private university located approximately 37 miles (60 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles northwest of San José in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...


Hanson is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Fellow in California Studies at the Claremont Institute. Until recently, he was professor at California State University, Fresno, where he began teaching in 1984, having created the classics program at that institution. Hoover Tower at the Hoover Institution The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded by Herbert Hoover at Stanford University, his alma mater. ... The Claremont Institute is a conservative think tank based in Claremont, California. ... The campus on a sunny day California State University, Fresno, commonly referred to as Fresno State, is one of the campuses of California State University, located at the northeast edge of Fresno, California, USA. The campus sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the San Joaquin... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Classics, particularly within the Western University tradition, when used as a singular noun, means the study of the language, literature, history, art, and other aspects of Greek and Roman culture during the time frame known as classical antiquity. ...


In 1991 Hanson was awarded an American Philological Association's Excellence in Teaching Award, which is awarded to undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. He has been a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), as well as holding the visiting Shifrin Chair of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002–03). He was a visiting professor at Hillsdale College in 2004 and 2006[1]. The American Philological Association, founded in 1869, is a non-profit North American scholarly organization devoted to classical studies in language, literature, and history, especially of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. ... The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency of the United States established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 (Pub. ... Teamwork: Fourth Class Midshipmen lock arms and use ropes made from uniform items as they brace themselves climbing the Herndon Monument The United States Naval Academy, or USNA, is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. ... Nickname: Americas Sailing Capital , San Diego East, Dogtown, Naptown Motto: Vixi Liber Et Moriar - I have lived, and I shall die, free Location in Maryland Coordinates: Country United States State Maryland County Anne Arundel County Founded 1649 Incorporated 1708 Mayor Ellen O. Moyer (D) City Council Richard E. Israel... Hillsdale College is an independent, co-educational, nonsectarian, liberal arts college located on the north side of the city of Hillsdale in central-southern Michigan, United States. ...


Hanson writes weekly columns for National Review and Tribune Media Services, and has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, City Journal, The American Spectator, Policy Review, The New Criterion, and The Weekly Standard, among others. In 2006, he started blogging at Pajamas Media. National Review (NR) is a biweekly magazine of political opinion, founded by author William F. Buckley Jr. ... The Tribune Media Services (TMS) is a syndication company owned by the Tribune Company. ... The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with a worldwide average daily circulation of more than 2. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... City Journal is a quarterly magazine, published by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank based out of New York City. ... The American Spectator magazine. ... Policy Review is one of Americas leading conservative journals. ... The New Criterion is a New York-based magazine, a journal of art and cultural criticism. ... The Weekly Standard is an American neoconservative political magazine published 48 times per year. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Pajamas Media, briefly known as Open Source Media, is a startup company founded in 2004 by mystery writer and Huffington Post blogger Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs with the intention of. ...


Carnage and Culture

Dr. Hanson is most famous for his 2001 book Carnage and Culture in which he argued that the military dominance of Western Civilization, beginning with the ancient Greeks, is the result of certain fundamental aspects of Western culture. Hanson rejects racial explanations for this military preeminence. He also disagrees with environmental explanations, as put forth by authors such as Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs and Steel.[2] 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate), generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... Jared Mason Diamond (born 10 September 1937) is an American evolutionary biologist, physiologist, biogeographer and nonfiction author. ... Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies cover Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of physiology at UCLA. It won the Pulitzer Prize for 1998, as well as the Aventis Prize for best science book in the...


According to Hanson, Western values such as political freedom, capitalism, individualism, democracy, scientific inquiry, rationalism, and open debate form an especially lethal combination when applied to warfare. Non-Western societies can win the occasional victory when warring against a society with these Western values, writes Hanson, but the "Western way of war" will prevail in the long run. Hanson emphasizes that Western warfare is not necessarily more (or less) moral than war as practiced by other cultures; his argument is simply that the "Western way of war" is unequalled in its devastation and decisiveness. A value system refers to the order and priority an individual or society grants to ethical and ideological values. ... Freedom is the right, or the capacity, of self-determination, as an expression of the individual will. ... Capitalism generally refers to an economic system in which the means of production are mostly privately[1] owned and operated for profit, and in which distribution, production and pricing of goods and services are determined in a largely free market. ... Individualism is a term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey, 286). ... Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to an idea (eg. ...


Carnage and Culture examines nine battles throughout history, each of which is used to illustrate a particular aspect of Western culture that Hanson believes contributes to the dominance of Western warfare. The battles or campaigns recounted (with themes in parenthesis) are the Battle of Salamis (480 BC; free citizens), the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC; the decisive battle of annihilation), the Battle of Cannae (216 BC; civic militarism), the Battle of Tours/Poitiers (732; infantry), the Battle of Tenochtitlan (1521; technology and reason), the Battle of Lepanto (1571; capitalism), the Battle of Rorke's Drift (1879; discipline), the Battle of Midway (1942; individualism), and the Tet Offensive (1968; dissent). Combatants Greek city-states Persia Halicarnassus Commanders Eurybiades of Sparta Themistocles of Athens Adeimantus of Corinth Aristides of Athens Xerxes I of Persia Ariamenes † Artemisia Strength 366-380 ships 1 1000 - 1207 ships [1]2 Casualties 40 ships 200 ships 1 Herodotus gives 378 of the alliance, but the numbers... Combatants Macedon Persia Commanders Alexander the Great Darius III Strength 40,000 infantry, 7,000 cavalry (According to Arrian) 200,000 Persian infantry, 45,000 cavalry, 200 scythed chariots, war elephants (according to Curtius) Casualties 4,000 killed or wounded 80,000 killed 150,000 wounded and captured In the... For the 11th-century battle in the Byzantine conquest of the Mezzogiorno, see Battle of Cannae (1018). ... Combatants Carolingian Franks Umayyad Caliphate Commanders Charles Martel ‘Abd-al-Raḥmān al-Ghāfiqī† Strength Unknown, possibly 20,000 to 30,000 [1] Unknown, but the earliest Muslim sources, still after the era of the battle[2] mention a figure of 80,000. ... Location within France Poitiers (population 85,000) is a small city located in west central France. ... Tenochtitlan, looking east. ... // Combatants Holy League: Republic of Venice Spain Papal States Republic of Genoa Duchy of Savoy Knights of Malta Ottoman Empire Commanders Don John of Austria Ali Pasha † Strength 206 galleys, 6 galleasses 230 galleys, 56 galliots Casualties 9,000 dead or wounded, 12 galleys lost 30,000 dead or wounded... Combatants Britain Zulu Nation Commanders John Chard Gonville Bromhead Prince Dabulamanzi Strength 139 4,000–5,000 Casualties 17 killed, 15 wounded 450 found dead immediately after battle, Hundreds more believed also died (2000+) Rorkes Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa, situated near a natural ford... Combatants United States of America Empire of Japan Commanders Chester W. Nimitz Frank J. Fletcher Raymond A. Spruance Isoroku Yamamoto Chuichi Nagumo Tamon Yamaguchi† Strength 3 carriers, ~50 support ships, 233 carrier aircraft, 127 land-based aircraft 4 carriers, 7 battleships, ~150 support ships, 248 carrier aircraft, 16 floatplanes Casualties... Combatants Republic of Viet Nam, United States of America, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia Viet Cong, Democratic Republic of Viet Nam Commanders William Westmoreland Võ Nguyên Giáp Strength 50,000+ (estimate) 85,000+ (estimate) Casualties 2,788 KIA, 8,299 WIA, 587 MIA 1,536 KIA, 7,764...


Though Carnage and Culture appeared before the September 11, 2001 attacks, its message that the "Western way of war" will ultimately prevail made the book a best-seller in the wake of those events. Immediately after 9/11, Carnage and Culture was re-issued with a new afterword by Hanson in which he explicitly stated that the United States would win the war on terror for the reasons stated in the book. A sequential look at United Flight 175 crashing into the south tower of the World Trade Center The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11—pronounced nine eleven or nine one one) consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist[1] suicide attacks upon the United States, predominantly... The war on terrorism or war on terror (abbreviated in U.S. policy circles as GWOT for Global War on Terror) is an effort by the governments of the United States and its principal allies to destroy groups deemed to be terrorist (primarily radical Islamist organizations such as al-Qaeda...


Stances

Iraq War

Hanson believes that the Iraq War is a good and worthwhile undertaking and that it has been, with some reservations, a laudable success. Hanson has been called a neoconservative,[1] and Hanson has applied the term to himself on his weblog in a recent blog defending Donald Rumsfeld.[2] Hanson has strongly hawkish, pro-Israel views on the Middle East. He believes that the lack of individual and political freedom in many Middle East nations has retarded economic, technological and cultural progress and is the root cause of radical Islamic terrorism.[3] For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ... Neoconservatism is a somewhat controversial term referring to the political goals and ideology of the new conservatives (ultraconservative) in the United States. ... Hawkishness or Hawkism is an informal term used to describe a political stance of preparedness for aggression, by diplomatic and ultimately military means, against others to improve the standing of their own government, country or organization. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ...


American education and Classical studies

Hanson co-authored the book Who Killed Homer? with John Heath. This book explores the issue of how classical education has declined in America and what might be done to restore it to its former place. This is important, according to Hanson, because knowledge of the classical Greeks and Romans is necessary if we are to fully understand our own culture. Hanson blames the academic classicists themselves for the decline, accusing them of becoming so infected with political correctness and postmodern thinking that they have lost sight of what he feels the classics truly represent. Homer (Greek: , Hómēros) was an early Greek poet and aoidos (rhapsode) traditionally credited with the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey. ... Classical education as understood and taught in the Middle Ages of Western culture is roughly based on the ancient Greek concept of Paideia. ...


Politics

Hanson sees rural values as underpinning successful democracies, whether they be of ancient Athens or the modern United States. Although he reports that he is a member of the Democratic Party, he holds conservative or neoconservative views on many issues and has stated that he voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections.[4] Hanson feels that the current Democratic party does not have a morally responsible approach to foreign policy and no longer addresses the concerns of ordinary Americans, writing: "The Democratic Party reminds me of the Republicans circa 1965 or so—impotent, shrill, no ideas, conspiratorial, reactive, out-of-touch with most Americans, isolationist, and full of embarrassing spokesmen."[5] View of part of central Athens and some of the citys southern suburbs from Lykavittos Hill. ... The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States; the other being the Republican Party. ... American conservatism is a constellation of political ideologies within the United States under the blanket heading of conservative. ... Neoconservatism describes several distinct political ideologies which are considered new forms of conservatism. ...


Influences

Hanson cites the Theban general and statesman Epaminondas, the American generals Sherman and Patton, as well as Winston Churchill as his heroes. In the field of military history, Hanson cites John Keegan as being influential, and shares a mutual admiration with fellow classicist Donald Kagan and the historian Steven Ozment. Thebes (in Demotic Greek: Θήβα — Thíva, Katharevousa: — Thēbai or Thíve) is a city in Greece, situated to the north of the Cithaeron range, which divides Boeotia from Attica, and on the southern edge of the Boeotian plain. ... For information about the modern board game of the same name, see Epaminondas (game). ... “General Sherman” redirects here. ... General George Smith Patton Jr. ... Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was an English statesman, soldier, and author. ... Sir John Keegan (born 1934) is an English military historian. ... Donald Kagan (born 1932) is a Yale historian specializing in ancient Greece, notable for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War. ... Steven E. Ozment (born February 21, 1939 in McComb, Mississippi) is an American historian of early modern and modern Germany, the European family, and the Protestant Reformation. ...


Works

  • Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece. University of California Press, 1983. ISBN 0-520-21025-5
  • The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece. Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. ISBN 0-394-57188-6
  • Hoplites: The Classical Greek Battle Experience, editor, Routledge, 1991. ISBN 0-415-04148-1
  • The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization, Free Press, 1995. ISBN 0-02-913751-9
  • Fields Without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea, Free Press, 1996. ISBN 0-684-82299-7
  • Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom, with John Heath, Free Press, 1998. ISBN 0-684-84453-2
  • The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny, Free Press, 1999. ISBN 0-684-84502-4
  • The Wars of the Ancient Greeks: And the Invention of Western Military Culture, Cassell, 1999. ISBN 0-304-35222-5
  • The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer, Free Press, 2000. ISBN 0-684-84501-6
  • Bonfire of the Humanities: Rescuing the Classics in an Impoverished Age, with John Heath and Bruce S. Thornton, ISI Books, 2001. ISBN 1-882926-54-4
  • Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, Doubleday, 2001. ISBN 0-385-50052-1
    Published in the UK as Why the West Has Won: Carnage and Culture from Salamis to Vietnam, Faber, 2001. ISBN 0-571-20417-1
  • An Autumn of War: What America Learned from September 11 and the War on Terrorism, Anchor Books, 2002. ISBN 1-4000-3113-3
    A collection of essays, mostly from National Review, covering events occurring between September 11, 2001 and January 2002
  • Mexifornia: A State of Becoming, Encounter Books, 2003. ISBN 1-893554-73-2
  • Ripples of Battle: How Wars Fought Long Ago Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think, Doubleday, 2003. ISBN 0-385-50400-4
  • Between War and Peace: Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq, Random House, 2004. ISBN 0-8129-7273-2
    A collection of essays, mostly from National Review, covering events occurring between January 2002 and July 2003
  • A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, Random House, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-6095-8

National Review (NR) is a biweekly magazine of political opinion, founded by author William F. Buckley Jr. ... Mexifornia or Califaztlán refer to the state that is the result of the accelerated legal, and especially undocumented, immigration of people into California and the rapid transformation of many aspects of the culture of the state. ...

References

  1. ^ The Pericles of Petticoat Junction by James Wolcott
  2. ^ Works and Days: Rumsfeld, Webb - and Being Careful About What You Wish For by Victor Davis Hanson, PajamasMedia.org, Nov. 8 2006
  3. ^ It's not just about land by Victor Davis Hanson, Jewish World Review, 3 August 2006
  4. ^ Interview in The Naval Institute: Proceedings
  5. ^ Question Log on Hanson's website, February 2005

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... August 3 is the 215th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (216th in leap years), with 150 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

External links

Official sites

Pajamas Media, briefly known as Open Source Media, is a startup company founded in 2004 by mystery writer and Huffington Post blogger Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs with the intention of. ...

Media interviews

RealVideo is a proprietary video format developed by RealNetworks. ... The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a conservative think tank, founded in 1943, whose stated mission is to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism — limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies... The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ... November 8 is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 53 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Educational institutions

Hoover Tower at the Hoover Institution The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded by Herbert Hoover at Stanford University, his alma mater. ...

Online articles

The Claremont Review of Books (or CRB) is a quarterly review of politics and statesmanship published by the Claremont Institute. ... The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with an average daily circulation of 1,800,607 (2002). ... November 29 is the 333rd (in leap years the 334th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... National Review (NR) is a biweekly magazine of political opinion, founded by author William F. Buckley Jr. ... Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: [1]; April 28, 1937[2] – December 30, 2006[3]), was the President of Iraq from July 16, 1979, until April 9, 2003. ... August 26 is the 238th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (239th in leap years). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Opposing views

  • Torturing History A review of Carnage And Culture which claims Hanson rewrites history; see also Hanson's reply
  • When Superpowers Lose A review of Carnage and Culture from a socialist perspective
  • Review and commentary on Mexifornia by a pro-immigration group
  • The Case of Victor Davis Hanson: Farmer, Scholar, Warmonger — a neo-Confederate, libertarian perspective
  • Victor Hanson, portrait of an American Traitor by Gary Brecher

  Results from FactBites:
 
VDH's Private Papers :: A War Like No Other (3774 words)
Hanson compellingly portrays the ways Athens and Sparta fought on land and sea, in city and countryside, and details their employment of the full scope of conventional and nonconventional tactics, from sieges to targeted assassinations, torture, and terrorism.
Hanson’s command of his subject is as impressive as his erudition is lightly worn….
Hanson deftly chronicles these destructive decades, from the conflict's roots (e.g., the fundamental mutual suspicion between Athens and Sparta) to its legacy (the evolution of the nature of war to something "more deadly, amorphous, and concerned with the ends rather than the ethical means")....
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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