Victor Davis Hanson

Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Statesmanship Award from the Claremont Institute

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

A FORK IN THE ROAD: Is the Transatlantic Alliance Dead?

with Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Kupchanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Over the past year, the clashes between the Bush administration and European leaders over the best way to handle Saddam Hussein have led many observers to suggest that the half-century-long alliance between Western Europe and the United States is dead. How serious is the rift between Europe and America, and why has it emerged? Is it still in the strategic interest of the United States to maintain tens of thousands of troops in Europe, or should we pull out of NATO altogether?

CARNAGE AND CULTURE: The Western Way of War

with Victor Davis Hansonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Is the culture of the West—the line of cultural tradition that connects modern America and Europe with ancient Greece and Rome—particularly lethal in war? Victor Davis Hanson contends that, from the time of the Greeks on, Western culture has created the deadliest soldiers in the history of civilization. What is it about the Western tradition that has so often led to victory on the battlefield over non-Western armies? What does this tradition mean for the battles that America will face in the future?

Related Commentary

Preserve What We Inherited

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Strategika

There were various reasons why our grandparents sought to limit the availability of nuclear weapons in general and in particular among even our allies. I can think of three.

Analysis and Commentary

This Is the Last Territorial Demand I Have to Make in Europe

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Corner (National Review Online)

Vladimir Putin all but said the above yesterday, after annexing the Crimea — and promising to let alone the rest of the Ukraine. If we just insert Ukraine and Russia for Czechoslovakia and Germany, the following speech could easily be Putin’s: (Berlin 1938 Moscow 2014) Now I have tried during this time also gradually to bring about good and enduring relations with other nations. We have given guarantees for the States in the West. We have guaranteed to all contiguous neighbors the inviolability of their territory so far as Germany Russia is concerned. That is not a phrase — that is our sacred will. We are not interested in breaking peace. We do not want anything from these peoples. It is a fact that these our offers were meeting with increasing acceptance and also growing understanding. Slowly, more and more nations are departing from the idiotic delusion of Geneva; I should like to say, departing not from collective peace obligations but from collective war obligations. They are withdrawing from them and they begin to see problems soberly and are ready for understanding and peace. . . . Bitter as it may be for a few, in the last analysis the interest of the German Russian nation stands above all. This interest, however, is: To be able to work in peace. This whole activity, my fellow citizens, is not a phrase that cannot be proved, but instead this activity is demonstrated by facts which no political liar can remove. Two problems remained. Here I had to make a reservation. Ten Several million of Germans Russians found themselves outside the Reich’s Russian Federation’s confines in two several large contiguous regions — Germans Russians who desired to come back into their homeland. This number of 10,000,000 several million is not a trifle… Somewhere, my fellow countrymen, there is a limit — a limit where yielding must cease, because it would otherwise become a harmful weakness and I would have no right to maintain a place in German Russian history if I were simply to renounce 10,000,000 several million without caring about them. I would then have no moral right to be Fuehrer President of the German Russian people. I have taken upon myself sufficient sacrifices in the way of renunciations. Here was a limit beyond which I could not go. How right this was has been proven, first by the plebiscite in Austria the Crimea; in fact, by the entire history of the reunion of Austria South Ossetia and Crimea with the Reich Russia. A glowing confession of faith was pronounced at that time — a confession such as others certainly had not hoped for. A flaming testimony was given at that time, a declaration such as others surely had not hoped would be given. It was then we saw that for democracies a plebiscite becomes superfluous or even obnoxious as soon as it does not produce results democracies hoped for. Nevertheless this problem was solved to the happiness of the great German Russian people, and now we confront the last problem that must and shall be solved. This is the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe, but it is a demand on which I will not yield. I am thankful to Mr. Chamberlain Mr. Obama for all his trouble and I assured him that the German Russian people wants nothing but peace, but I also declared that I cannot go beyond the limits of our patience. I further assured him and I repeat here that if this problem is solved, there will be no further territorial problems in Europe for Germany Russia. And I further assured him that at the moment that Czechoslovakia Ukraine has solved her other problems, that is, when the Czechs Ukrainians have reconciled themselves with their other minorities, the Czech Ukrainian State no longer interests me and that, if you please, I give him the guarantee: We do not want any Czechs Ukrainians. I now head the procession of my people as first soldier and behind me — may the world know this — there now matches a people and a different one than that of 1918 1989. . . .