August 20, 2007


Ah, Victor Davis Hanson, the right-wing's favorite historian. Deservedly thumped both at this blog and many, many others.

But I shall surprise my audience and win myself New Republic style counter intuitive points by agreeing with something his has written. Read his call to study military history. I agree. There should be more study of military. So we can put the interpretation of military matters out of the hands of people like Victor Davis Hanson. Liberals need to study military history.

Hanson is right that military history is out of fashion on campus. During my undergraduate years I took courses on both the American Revolution and The Civil War, and both professors took extreme care in avoiding any discussion of military matters. We dealt with economics, sociology, government, everything except the battle, tactics, and strategy. Not say this stuff isn't interesting, or important, but it leaves one unequipped to deal with the Hansons of the world.

Look, you know about things you like and don't spend time on things you don't. Conservatives love war so they study war. Which mean when the time comes to debate this war or the next war, conservatives can invoke Thucydides or Germany 1944 and liberals come back with who?, when? You've got to know that their interpretation of Thucydides is complete crap and that Germany 1944 has nothing to do with the current situation.

And to know that, you must study military history. So Professor Hanson is right. About that one thing. Nothing else.

1 comment:

larry said...

You are right, it is an interesting and valuable column. But let's not forget that "Professor" Hanson, like so many of his right-wing colleagues, still has problems with the facts.

For one example, he says:

'The 2003 removal of Saddam refuted doom-and-gloom critics who predicted thousands of deaths and millions of refugees'

The Guardian last December listed 1.8 million Iraqis living in other Arab countries.,,1966333,00.html

As as for thousands of deaths, just go to

It doesn't seem to matter what Hanson studies - he's just going to rewrite history anyway.