Carnage and culture: landmark battles in the rise of Western power

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Anchor, Aug 27, 2002 - History - 544 pages
14 Reviews
Examining nine landmark battles from ancient to modern times--from Salamis, where outnumbered Greeks devastated the slave army of Xerxes, to Cortes’s conquest of Mexico to the Tet offensive--Victor Davis Hanson explains why the armies of the West have been the most lethal and effective of any fighting forces in the world.

Looking beyond popular explanations such as geography or superior technology, Hanson argues that it is in fact Western culture and values–the tradition of dissent, the value placed on inventiveness and adaptation, the concept of citizenship–which have consistently produced superior arms and soldiers. Offering riveting battle narratives and a balanced perspective that avoids simple triumphalism, Carnage and Culture demonstrates how armies cannot be separated from the cultures that produce them and explains why an army produced by a free culture will always have the advantage.

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User Review  - 4bonasa - LibraryThing

Hanson's postulates, I believe correctly, the Western ideology of freedom, rational thought, and free expression produces a deadly force when mobilized against a foe. Some argue Hanson discounts the ... Read full review

CARNAGE AND CULTURE: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A fascinating study of the way Western values have translated into Western military victories against non-Western cultures. Hanson (The Soul of Battle, 1999) meticulously analyzes nine epic battles ... Read full review



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About the author (2002)

Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian who is a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno. He has written several scholarly and popular books on ancient history and classical warfare, including The Other Greeks, The Western Way of War, and The Soul of Battle. He lives in Selma, California.

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