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The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern



Pub. Date:
Bloomsbury Press

Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?
This is the Reprint edition with a publication date of 4/26/2011.
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


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 Allbrings 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.

Author Biography

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His many bestselling books include Carnage and Culture, A War Like No Other, and An Autumn of War. His Web site is

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Military History: The Orphaned Disciplinep. 1
Why Study War?p. 3
Classical Lessons and Post-9/11 Warsp. 31
Raw, Relevant History: From the 300 Spartans to the History of Thucydidesp. 50
War Writingp. 61
Thalatta! Thalatta!p. 63
The Old Breedp. 71
The War to Begin All Warsp. 83
Don Juan of Austria is Riding to the Seap. 94
The Postmodern Meets the Premodernp. 103
The End of Decisive Battle-For Nowp. 105
˘Men Make a City, Not Walls or Ships Empty of Men÷p. 123
The American Way of War-Past, Present, and Futurep. 137
How Western Wars are Lost-and Wonp. 159
Your Defeat, My Victoryp. 161
The Odd Couple-War and Democracyp. 188
Who is the Enemy?p. 212
Epiloguep. 237
Indexp. 247
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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