Victor Davis Hanson

Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Statesmanship Award from the Claremont Institute
(2006)
Biography: 

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is classics and military history.

Hanson was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), the annual Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Visiting Fellow in History at Hillsdale College (2004–), the Visiting Shifron Professor of Military History at the US Naval Academy (2002–3),and the William Simon Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University (2010).

In 1991 he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award. He received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (2002), presented the Manhattan's Institute's Wriston Lecture (2004), and was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) and the Bradley Prize (2008).

Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history and essays on contemporary culture. He has written or edited twenty-three books, including The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - from Ancient Greece to Iraq (Bloomsbury 2013); The End of Sparta (Bloomsbury, 2011); The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern (Bloomsbury, 2010); Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome (ed.) (Princeton, 2010); The Other Greeks (California, 1998); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001); Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003); A War Like No Other (Random House, 2005); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback ed., 2001); and Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003), as well as two books on family farming, Fields without Dreams (Free Press, 1995) and The Land Was Everything (Free Press, 1998). His forthcoming book entitled, The Second World Wars, will be out in Fall 2017 (Basic Books). Currently, he is a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services and a weekly columnist for the National Review Online.

Hanson received a BA in classics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1975), was a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (1977–78), and received his PhD in classics from Stanford University (1980).

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

A Little DACA Honesty

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It is surreal to look at more than a dozen clips of Barack Obama in non-campaign mode prior to 2012 assuring the country (“I am not king”) that he simply could not usurp the power of the Congress and by fiat illegally issue blanket amnesties in precisely the fashion he would in 2012 — presumably on the assumption that new polls worded along the lines of “would you deport small children brought by their parents to the country as infants” showed a majority of Americans would not.

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Virtual Virtue

by Victor Davis Hansonvia American Greatness
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

It is not healthy for a society to live two lives that are antithetical, as America has been doing in recent decades.

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Two Resistances

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The quiet resistance — the one without black masks and clubs — is the more revolutionary force, and it transcends race, class, and gender.

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Linguistic McCarthyism

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Thursday, August 31, 2017

‘The Bard,” William Shakespeare, had a healthy distrust of the sort of mob hysteria typified by our current epidemics of statue-busting and name-changing. In Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar — a story adopted from Plutarch’s Parallel Lives — a frenzied Roman mob, in furor over the assassination of Julius Caesar, encounters on the street a poet named Cinna. The innocent poet was not the conspiratorial assassin Cinna, but unfortunately shared a name with the killer.

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Trump Haters, Supporters, Neither, And Both

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Partisan conflict is not new, nor is GOP internal dissent. What’s new is in-fighting among the elites.

Analysis and Commentary

Equal By Catastrophe

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Inference Review
Friday, August 25, 2017

In his new book, Walter Scheidel offers a simple, though jarring, story of how past societies struggled with inequality. The Great Leveler is a cautionary tale to policy makers who believe in economic redistribution as a means to level the playing field. A professor of ancient history at Stanford University, Scheidel’s thesis unfolds in the following way: economic inequality is always terrible and disruptive. We should be worried that vastly disproportionate increases in wealth in twenty-first-century America approach something analogous to the high Roman empire or the unchecked roaring twenties in the United States.

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The Double Standard In The Progressive War Against The Dead

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Will Progressives erase the history of their racist heroes, or only their racist enemies?

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The Fire And Fury Of Presidents

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, August 24, 2017

History shows that bombastic rhetoric is often less dangerous than silence and appeasement. 

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Why Nations Go To War

by Victor Davis Hanson, Kori Schakevia Policyed.org
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

War is politics by other means. In other words, when political leaders cannot get what they want through peaceful methods, they judge the cost of achieving their goal through military force. Preventing armed conflict requires raising the cost of using force. Until the cost of any armed conflict is prohibitively high, conflicts will continue.

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Our War Against Memory

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Romans emperors were often a bad lot — but usually confirmed as such only in retrospect. Monsters such as Nero, of the first-century A.D. Julio-Claudian dynasty, or the later psychopaths Commodus and Caracalla, were flattered by toadies when alive — only to be despised the moment they dropped.

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