Presented with the kind permission of C-SPAN
Victor Davis Hanson discusses his book, The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.
Victor Davis Hanson has long been acclaimed as one of our leading scholars of ancient history. In recent years he has also become a trenchant voice on current affairs, bringing a historian’s deep knowledge of past conflicts to bear on the crises of the present, from 9/11 to Iran.
“War,” he writes, “is an entirely human enterprise.” Ideologies change, technologies develop, new strategies are invented – but human nature is constant across time and space.
The dynamics of warfare in the present age still remain comprehensible to us through careful study of the past. Though many have called the War on Terror unprecedented, its contours would have been quite familiar to Themistocles of Athens or William Tecumseh Sherman. And as we face the menace of a bin Laden or a Kim Jong-Il, we can prepare ourselves with knowledge of how such challenges have been met before.
The Father of Us All brings together much of Hanson’s finest writing on war and society, both ancient and modern. The author has gathered a range of essays, and combined and revised them into a richly textured new work that explores such topics as how technology shapes warfare, what constitutes the “American way of war,” and why even those who abhor war need to study military history.
“War is the father and king of us all,” Heraclitus wrote in ancient Greece. And as Victor Davis Hanson shows, it is no less so today.
Some reviews of the book:
“I have never read another book which explains so well the truth that “war lies in the dark hearts of us all” but that history offers hope. ” William Shawcross, author of Allies and Deliver Us from Evil
“Few writers cover both current events and history–and none with the brilliance and erudition of Victor Davis Hanson. In The Father of Us All, he uses his deep knowledge of military history to shed light on present-day controversies. Required reading for anyone interested in war, past or present.” Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Savage Wars of Peace and War Made New
“Victor Hanson brings to his writing a mixture of learning and reflection that is rare in any age, especially the ignorant one in which we live” Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College