“Vivid . . . ambitious . . . Challenges readers to broaden their horizons and examine their assumptions. . . . [Hanson] more than makes his case.”–The New York Times Book Review
“No one offers a more compelling picture of how wars reflect and affect the societies, including our own, that wage them.” —National Review
“Hanson . . . is becoming one of the best-known historians in America . . . [Carnage and Culture] can only enhance his reputation.” —John Keegan, Daily Telegraph (London)
“Victor Davis Hanson is courting controversy again with another highly readable, lucid work. Together with John Keegan, he is our most interesting historian of war.” —Jean Bethke Elshtain, author of Women and War
List of Maps
Why the West Has Won
Enlightened Thugs · The Primacy of Battle · Ideas of the West ·The Western Way of War
PART ONE · CREATION
Freedom—or “To Live as You Please” · Salamis, September 28, 480 B.C.
The Drowned · The Achaemenids and Freedom ·The Persian Wars and the Strategy of Salamis · The Battle ·Eleutheria · The Legacy of Salamis
Decisive Battle · Gaugamela, October 1, 331 B.C.
Angles of Vision · The Macedonian Military Machine · Killing Spree · Decisive Battle and Western Warfare
Citizen Soldiers · Cannae, August 2, 216 B.C.
A Summer Slaughter · Hannibal’s Jaws · Carthage and the West · Legions of Rome · The Idea of a Nation-in-Arms ·“Rulers of the Entire World”—the Legacy of Civic Militarism
PART TWO · CONTINUITY
Landed Infantry · Poitiers, October 11, 732
Horse Versus Foot · The Wall · The Hammer · Islam Ascendant ·Dark Ages? · Infantry, Property, and Citizenship · Poitiers and Beyond
Technology and the Wages of Reason · Tenochtitlán, June 24, 1520–August 13, 1521
The Battles for Mexico City · Aztec War · The Mind of the Conquistadors · Spanish Rationalism · Why Did the Castilians Win? · Reason and War
The Market—or Capitalism Kills · Lepanto, October 7, 1571
Galley War · Legends of Lepanto · Europe and the Ottomans · Capitalism, the Ottoman Economy, and Islam · War and the Market
PART THREE · CONTROL
Discipline—or Warriors Are Not Always Soldiers · Rorke’s Drift, January 22–23, 1879
Killing Fields · The Imperial Way · Zulu Power and Impotence · Courage Is Not Necessarily Discipline
Individualism · Midway, June 4–8, 1942
Floating Infernos · The Annihilation of the Devastators ·The Imperial Fleet Moves Out · Western and Non-Western Japan ·Spontaneity and Individual Initiative at Midway · Individualism in Western Warfare
Dissent and Self-Critique · Tet, January 31–April 6, 1968
Battles Against the Cities · Victory as Defeat · Aftermath · War amid Audit, Scrutiny, and Self-Critique
Western Warfare—Past and Future
The Hellenic Legacy · Other Battles? ·The Singularity of Western Military Culture · The Continuity of Western Lethality ·The West Versus the West?
Carnage and Culture
after September 11, 2001
FOR FURTHER READING