The Western Way of War

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-01
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr

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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.

Author Biography

Victor Davis Hanson is Professor of Classics at California State University, Fresno, and author or coauthor of many books, including A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War; Between War and Peace: Lessons from Afghanistan to Iraq; Mexifornia: A State of Becoming; and The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Prefacep. xv
Preface to the 2009 Editionp. xxiii
Chronological Tablep. xxxvii
The Greeks and Modern Warfare
Ordinary Things, Ordinary Peoplep. 3
A Western Way of Warp. 9
Not Strategy, Not Tacticsp. 19
The Hoplite and His Phalanx: War in an Agricultural Societyp. 27
Sources of Inquiryp. 40
The Ordeal of the Hoplite
The Burden of Hoplite Arms and Armorp. 55
The Old Menp. 89
The Dread of Massed Attackp. 96
The Triumph of Will
A Soldier's Generalp. 107
Unit Spirit and Morale: The Origins of the Regimental Systemp. 117
Drinkp. 126
The Chargep. 135
A Collision of Menp. 152
Tears and Gapsp. 160
The Push and Collapsep. 171
Confusion, Misdirection, and Mob Violencep. 185
The Killing Fieldp. 197
The Woundedp. 210
Epiloguep. 219
Abbreviations of Ancient Authors and their Works Used in this Bookp. 229
Select Bibliographyp. 231
Supplementary Bibliographyp. 235
Indexp. 251
Index Locorump. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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