Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
Carnage and culture: landmark battles in the rise of Western powerUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Examining a select group of battles throughout history, Hanson (classics, California State Univ., Fresno; coauthor, Bonfire of the Humanities) maintains that Western nations are the world's best ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Achaemenid Africa Alexander American ancient arms army Asia Athenian attack Aztec battleﬁeld bombing British Cannae cannon capital carriers Castilians cavalry century Cetshwayo Christian city-states civic militarism classical command communist conquest conquistadors consensual government CortÚs culture Darius deadly decisive battle defeat discipline empire enemy ensure entire Europe European ﬁeld ﬁght ﬁghters ﬁghting ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrearms ﬁring ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂeet force fought freedom galleys Gaugamela Greece Greek Hellenic Herodotus hoplite horsemen horses hundred Iapan Iapanese imperial infantry infantrymen Isandhlwana Islamic killed king Lake Texcoco land Lepanto Macedonian Mediterranean Mexicas Midway mounted native naval nearly North Vietnamese ofﬁcers Ottoman Paciﬁc Parmenio Persian phalangites phalanx planes Poitiers political riﬂes Roman Rome sacriﬁce Salamis ships slaughter Spain Spaniards Spanish spears superior tactics Tenochtitlan Tet Offensive Themistocles thousands Tlaxcalans torpedo tradition triremes troops Turkish victory Vietcong Vietnam warfare warriors wars weapons Western military Xerxes Zulu Zulu War