Talk:Victor Davis Hanson

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Could Victor Davis Hanson be described as a neoconservative? GCarty 13:11, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The clause "and is thus often quoted on warblogs such as Little Green Footballs" has an offensive PoV ring to it, my reason for removing it that there is no reason to suppose it is anything but gratuitous. How 'bout a reason why it matters that he is quoted one particular place -- or for that matter, anywhere that agrees with him? As it says, "thus he is quoted" by those which could just as well be "as any fool can imagine w/o WP's help, he is quoted"...! --Jerzy (t) 23:46, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I saw a brief book in the classics section of my university library that was critical of some of Hanson's and Kagan's views, written by a professor of classics at Berkely - I believe. I'll try to dig it up on my next trip to the library. I didn't agree with most of what I read, but it was presented in a civil, scholarly manner, not ranting as above. --Jpbrenna 21:20, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)


No ongoing discussion. Unprotecting. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:51, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I hadn't even realized it was protected! I was the one who nominated it. This article does need some work. Hopefully people will provide sourced criticisms of Hanson instead of reposting the same POV stock phrases over and over.--Jpbrenna 00:36, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I couldn't find it --- not in a catalog search and not in a physical inspection of the classics section. I know I saw the book once. They are expanding the library and moving parts of the collection around, so maybe it's in a box somewhere. If anybody else can find a copy of the work, go ahead and post. I'll keep my eye out for it as well. --Jpbrenna 18:03, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Western Way of War[edit]

There is too much on this page regarding Hansons political views and his stance towards recent events. More attention should be paid to his role as a scholar, particularly the publishing of The Western Way of War which was revolutionary in the study of ancient Greek warfare. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:15, 17 July 2005 UTC

I completely agree. This entire entry is an absolute joke. One gets the impression from reading it that Hanson is more known for his political views than his scholarship in the field of military history, and I suspect this is deliberate on the part of those who wrote the entry on Hanson. Singling out Carnage and Culture, and barely even mentioning "The Western Way of War" is odd, to say the least, particularly when you consider that the "Western Way of War" is one of the most influential works ever written on the history of ancient Greek warfare. I have a distinct feeling this is a deliberate omission, employed to minimize the impact of Hanson's scholarship in the field of military history. Reading the entry, one doesn't even get the smallest inkling that Hanson is one of the most influential classical military historians of the past 50 years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:30, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Opposing viewpoints[edit]

Valid opposing viewpoints of Hanson based on facts should not be censored and deleted. This censorship is a gross perversion of the spirit of Wikipedia! Valid cites have been made. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:28, 25 August 2005 UTC

No they haven't. Which C-SPAN interview? Not the one linked to below, which aired in 2005. And who did the "accusing" in the 2003 interview (which you cite, but don't give in the sources section below). Was it Brian Lamb, or was it an anonymous caller on a call-in show? As for the La Raza article, which one? What publication? Was it from the National Council of La Raza, or an affiliated local group or community center with its own newsletter? Single author or corporately authored? Is it available online at We need the info, including page numbers if applicable. It's easiest if you select the appropriate template, copy/paste it, and then fill in the info. --Jpbrenna 05:12, 25 August 2005 (UTC)


The image was removed and deleted at the request of Craig M. Eisenberg, who owns the copyright and did not give permission for its use. Please don't upload images you don't personally own. --Tony SidawayTalk 16:50, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Lack of Military Service[edit]

Deleting line about criticism of VDH's lack of military service. This appears to be based on an ad hominem attack. Only substantive criticism of VDH's scholarly work (or political opinions) is appropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:00, 7 November 2005 UTC

It is not an ad hominem attack. It is the accurate statement of a fact which may or may not reflect hypocrisy in his support of the Iraq War —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:39, 28 December 2005 UTC

I believe the following makes inclusion of this factoid unnecessary:
  1. His or his family's military service or lack thereof does not allow or disallow him from forming opinions.
  2. His lack of military service is evident from his biographical information.
  3. He's 56. He's hasn't been eligible for military service for two decades. (Sorry, he appears to be 52. Mike Wilson 04:49, 29 December 2005 (UTC))
  4. The statement reeks of political slant.
-- Mike Wilson 04:40, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
His namesake was killed at Okinawa. Maybe he himself never served, but his family obviously knows the human cost of war very well.--Jpbrenna 19:13, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

To you the statement reeks of political slant because you are embarrassed by it and want to sweep it under the rug. Many of us with family nmembers on the ground in Iraq find it significant. He is free to express his view of the Iraq War and we are free to decide what weight to give that opinion in light of his family staying out of that war. The fact that World War II was obviously an essential and well fought war is exactly what distinguishes it from the current war, along with the fact that it was waged against nations who had already declared war on us. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:31 29 December 2005 UTC

You seem sincere in finding it significant. I sincerely find it irrelevant. Since you seem like someone with boundless zeal, I'd like to hope for a compromise, although I can't speak for anyone else. First of all, you will need to find a solid reference confirming your assertion as per WP:CITE and WP:V. Then maybe some sort of line at the end of the paragraph can acknowledge the tenacity of his critics and their view of his credibility? I tried to think of an example, but they all sounded lame to me. Or maybe others have an alternative? -- Mike Wilson 04:49, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but the notion that the pathetic "chicken hawk" smears have any place in an encyclopedic entry is absolute insane. Such suggestions are worthy of contempt, not serious debate.

Nice rebuttal[edit]

[1] in response to [2]

"...extreme rhetoric of the antiwar Left... antiwar = anti-Semitism... "lunatic Left"... "fundamentalists and censors"... "half-truths, spin, and conspiracy theories"..."

It's just hillarious -- he's like that the whole way through, with hate speech in every word. But the reason I mention it here was that he didn't rebut "Gary Brecher", he merely launched a bad (ad-hominem we call it?) counterattack, drawing peoples' attention to all the things about Brecher that he thinks are bad (e.g cheering for 9/11)

  • There was no rebuttal to the argument about Hanson's farm being welfare state socialism while publically claiming to support private enterprise
  • There was no rebuttal to the claim that Hanson's analysis of the first gulf war was uninformed
  • There was no rebuttal to the claims of inaccuracy in Hanson's coverage of the second gulf war, (eg. "no attack on the Sunni Triangle")
  • There was no rebuttal to the claim that Hanson's comparison of Iraq and Malaya was misleading
  • There's not even a rebuttal to "what Hanson and morons like him won't admit is that short of genocide, there is no military solution to urban guerrilla warfare" -- presumably as a pro-war military expert who's keen to take the US into Iraq, Hanson is claiming that he does have a solution to urban guerrilla warfare?

So it's a bit oddd to list that article as a reply or rebuttal, when it' just a load of personal attacks. "yeah, well anyone who criticizes me is a loony, nyeh!!!" Ojw 13:18, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the text about VDH's 26Aug2005 NRO essay from the Brecher link, and inserted a mention of Brecher in the description of that NRO essay. Now the essay is only mentioned once; much better. For more detail, see my talk page. —Chris Chittleborough 15:56, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Good lord, your attack on Hanson's rebuttal is as pathetic as you claim his rebuttal is. Nothing but ad hominem? Sure thing. But I guess such is to be expected from an individual who claims Hanson's reply is full of "hate speech"(a euphemism the left seems to employ against anyone who disagrees with them), and then lauds someone who fantasized about burning down Hanson's crops. And speaking of Gary Brecher, his attack on Hanson is so laughable, one wonders why Hanson even bothers to mention it. Pointing out Brecher's insane moral equivalencies was rebuttal enough. For crying out loud, Brecher, in the title of his hilarious "piece"(yeah, it's a piece of something allright)calls Hanson a traitor, yet you have the nerve to claim it is Hanson engaging in nothing but ad hominem attacks? I would call you a raging hypocrite, but I don't like stating the obvious. Brecher deserved to be called out for his insane views in Hanson's piece, and that is the only reply he deserved. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:04, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Changes made 25-Mar-2006[edit]

I've edited the Iraq War section:

  • I say VDH is not "pro-war" re the Middle-East, just hawkish.
  • He sees bad Arab and Iranian autocracies (not the Arabs and Iranians themselves!) as the main cause of (1) fundamentalist Islamic terrorism and (2) the "backwardness" (my word) of Iran and most Arab nations
I phrased (2) as "retarded economic, technological and cultural progress" only because I can't think of a good way to express it. Edits welcome!
  • I've added no less that 5 {{citeneeded}} tags, asking for
1. link(s) to someone calling him neoconservative
(Update: it took a lot of googling but I found one and added it in. Chris Chittleborough 15:22, 25 March 2006 (UTC))
2. link(s) to him discussing whether he is neoconservative
3. link(s) to him blaming autocratic Middle East governments for "backwardness"
4. link(s) to him blaming autocratic Middle East governments for terrorism
5. link(s) to critics calling him racist and islamophobic
#1 and #2 here should probably be moved somewhere else in the article.
I'll look for citations for #3 and #4.
I'll let someone else look for citation(s) for #5. I'll delete this sentence in a month or so if no good citations for it have been added. (Every public figure who supports the defeat of Saddam and the terrorists in Iraq has been called racist and Islamaphobic. Accusations like this only deserve inclusion in articles if made by notable people or in notable circumstances or as part of a notable public debate or in a notable manner or if notable for some other reason.)

I've also edited the intro para to say what kind of grapes he grows. We farm kids care about such details ;-)

As always, feel free to WP:BOLDly improve my work!

Chris Chittleborough 04:25, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Hanson is very clear about his notions that non-Western societies value "freedom" and other values less than Western society does. Culture and Carnage in particular pursues that theme. I can't grant your second point. Tom129.93.17.202 18:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Those external links[edit]

We seem to be having an "edit kerfuffle" over two external links. (It does not rise to the level of an edit war, IMO.) I thought I'd try to start a discussion of them here. Cheers, CWC(talk) 03:32, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Two essays about George Washington, one by Richard Brookhiser, the other by Bruce S. Thornton and VDH, from 1999.

I don't see why this link belongs in an article about Prof. Hanson. CWC(talk) 03:32, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

"Military Technology and American Culture", an essay for the first issue of The New Altantis, published Spring 2003.

Strikes me as a useful summary of many of VDH's works. (Parts are quite prophetic.) If someone asked me for one essay to see what VDH says about modern military affairs, I'd send them to this one. (This is not the conclusion I expected to reach. Darn.) CWC(talk) 03:32, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The article from The New Atlantis can't go here as User:CNicol is affiliated with the magazine, making her addition linkspam. As for the other, I don't think we need to link to VDH's individual articles. Wikipedia is not a link directory. CRCulver 10:40, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The number of external links is absolutely silly. I could list dozens of individuals who have written far more controversial things on various political issues than Hanson and not find one single "opposing viewpoint" link in the external links section. The external links section is not designed as a forum to balance out the views of the subject of the entry. It should be obvious to anyone with an IQ above five that an entry on Hanson would include a link to Hanson's website, but to include links from random individuals is so transparently designed to attack Hanson that the claims of doing so for the sake of objectivity are hilarious on their face. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:41, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

The lede[edit]

I've just edited the lede to say that VDH is a former classics professor, as explained just a few paragraphs below.

Here's the resulting lede, with added color:

Victor Davis Hanson (born 1953 in Fowler, California of Swedish descent) is a military historian, political essayist and former Classics professor, best known as a scholar of ancient warfare as well as a commentator on modern warfare. He is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism.

I think the text in red are superfluous and should be deleted. What do other editors think? Cheers, CWC(talk) 01:25, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Environmental factors[edit]

He also disagrees with environmental explanations, as put forth by authors such as Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs and Steel.

I don't want to step into 'Original Research' territory, but I wonder where this has come from? Did VDH himself explicitly criticise Diamond's idea? Or is it an assumption by whoever wrote that?

The reason I mention it is that - if my understanding is correct - Diamond's view is not necessarily in conflict with VDH. In Guns, Germs and Steel, Diamond acknowledges that cultural differences can have an impact on the relative development of different societies. But he argues that this doesn't explain how different peoples came to have different cultures in the first place. So he's talking about influences further back than VDH. You could reconcile the two views, I think, unless VDH has actually said somewhere that he doesn't agree with Diamond. I didn't see a reference for that. --DudeGalea 21:36, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

VDH reviewed Diamond's book "Collapse" (and also mentions "Guns, Germs and Steel") here. He definitely does not agree with Diamond. Nathanm mn 02:57, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
I just came here to add a note that VDH's latest post contains a long argument against Diamond. And then I saw that you'd added yours a few days ago. I agree, that settles it. --DudeGalea 09:50, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry about resurrecting this, but in Carnage and Culture, Hanson does address Diamond's work, however, I don't have my copy near.--Mtnerd 22:36, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

names in prose[edit]

Unless this person usually goes by or is referred to as "Victor Davis Hanson" or "VDH", it seems inappropriate to continually use all three names in reference to him in the article. Consider somebody like Lisa Marie Presley, who is frequently referred to by all three names, somebody like Michael Jackson, who is frequently referred to with the surname and first name, and Madonna, who is commonly referred to by only her first name. We don't refer to LMP as "Lisa Marie" or "presley,' nor Lisa Presley. Continuing, we don't refer to Michael Jackson as "Jackson" or "Michael", and certainly not "Michael Joseph Jackson". Lastly, we don't refer to Madonna as "Madonna Ciccone" or "Madonna Louise." I don't think I need to give additional examples (don't get me started on Alexander Siddig). Anyways, I have removed a couple instances where people had used the term "VDH" to refer to him. In American English, it is common to use somebody's last name to refer to them when it is obvious who one is referring to. So in the article, "Hanson" should be fine. I think our readers are smart enough to figure out who the name references. ... aa:talk 22:24, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Neoconservative revisited[edit]

It's clear from Victor Hansons blog entry regarding himself and Mark Steyn, that he is saying that they are the only two left, as in pundits. Mark Steyn is clearly not a NeoConservative and Hanson who had objected to the 1998 letter from the NeoConservatives to president is not one either, as he's said here and elsewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:47, 17 December 2006 UTC

I added Hanson's own reference to himself as a neoconservative. Its been a while since I've used my wiki account and cannot remember my account name. In any case, here is the relevant part of the reference that I cited:
"But it is not just Leftists who are getting what they wished for, but a lot of the neoconservatives as well. It may be that true, as one pundit wrote, that Mark Steyn and myself are about the only two left that both support the war—despite the mistakes—and Rumsfeld in general."
His easy use of the term neoconservative contradicts the previous citation that he considered it a slur, and his applying it to himself (not contradicting the "pundit" he cites) makes it look like he is actually rather proud of the designation, or at the very least comfortable with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:47, 17 December 2006 UTC

But the above quotation doesn't make him a neoconservative at all. The "pundit" he cites doesn't call him that, so there's no question of his contracting or not contradicting it. The "pundit" says hyperbolically that Steyn and Hanson are "the only two" who support the war and Rumsfeld. The "pundit" doesn't say "the only two neoconservatives", but rather "the only two." Don't assume that "two" means "two neoconservatives" just because the word neoconservatives appears in the previous sentence. After all, the word leftists occurs there too. Tom129.93.17.139 01:15, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

(Much later) We now have a clear statement from VDH about this, which I added to the article a few weeks ago:

He is not a neoconservative, though he agrees with some neoconservative views.
Reference: The Neocon Slur, Victor Davis Hanson, July 12, 2008 (originally posted at Hanson's Works and Days blog)
"I came to support neocon approaches first in the wars against the Taliban and Saddam, largely because I saw little alternative."

(The quote also helps people find the relevant section of a long blog post.) Cheers, CWC 16:00, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

CWC, the "clear statement" is not supported by the citation. Can you show where he states in it that he is "not a neocon"? I modified this, and included citations for the views of others. Thanks, Jgui (talk) 21:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

POV template[edit]

The NPOV template strongly suggested there were POV problems with this article, but none were apparent when I read it, so I looked into the article history to see what I could discover about who added it and why.

{{POV|November 2006}} was added over two months ago (11:19, 20 November 2006 UTC) by (talk) (contribs), who was blocked the next day for vandalism, and blocked again two days after that for evading the block as (talk) (contribs).

Judging the encyclopedic health of the article to be good, and the source of the tag to be spurious (in the extreme ;-D), I have removed it. — Athænara 00:30, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. Perhaps it's been edited a lot since the above comments, but right now this article might have been written by Hanson himself; it is simply a brief exposition of his views, with not even a cursory attempt at setting him in context or presenting the views of anyone who has disagreed with his opinions, or criticised them in any way. I should point out that I have never read any of Hanson's books, but as a regular WP contributor and editor I can see that this article is, in its present state, a dog. It is blatantly partisan, and I will put the template back immediately. Lexo (talk) 00:47, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

January 2009[edit]

I see nothing POV in this article; in fact, it seems to be good-but-not-great as far as Wikipedia articles go. Responding to User:Lexo: the article supplies enough context, and carries several (mostly silly) criticisms in the External links section. Remember: at Wikipedia, we need WP:Reliable Sources for negative claims in a WP:BLP. I've removed the POV tag, and made some other improvements. Cheers, CWC 12:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

This article is not even remotely "good". In fact it is a complete joke. More time is spent discussing Hanson's political views than is spent on the undisputed fact that Hanson is one of the most influential military historians of the 20th and 21st centuries. You would be hard pressed to find a military history class that covers the ancient world at any major univesity that doesn't have one of Hanson's books as required reading. In fact, there is not a single sentence in this entire piece of garbage entry that even remotely indicates the scope of his influence. Rather it would seem the author spent more time casting aspersions on Hanson because he supported the war in Iraq. This piece, as the British would say, is rubbish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:10, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

He has a good point. I've been writing papers on the Peloponesian Wars and the Anabasis, and nearly every book and scholarly article I pick up about it is either by Hanson or else cites Hanson. My flamingly left-wing Ancient Warfare professor requires two of his books (out of eight total assigned texts) for his class.

Hanson is well known as a political commentator. But that's really sort of a sideline; he's a history scholar first and last, and a farmer in the middle. The article should reflect that. (talk) 23:10, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

April 2013[edit]

Picking this up again here again a year after the latest comment. I agree with User:Lexo above. As I look at the current page, I see 21 references but it appears that only 4-5 of them are not written by the man himself; clearly it is inappropriate for our Wikipedia articles to be largely autobiographical (and his own writings might be promotional and WP:NOTRELIABLE). To be slightly more fair, I don't think it promotionalizes the views as much as it is just entirely devoid of any third-party remarks on the views. To those who assert that this article should cover more of his academic background: the burden is to find the sources. Glancing at the literature through GScholar, I found that John Keegan wrote a favorable review in the intro to his book the Western Way of War and that Kirkus Reviews wrote a favorable review listed on the GBooks reviews, although both seem to say his book ran counter to the mainstream. On politics, I noticed "Victor Davis Hanson Goes Berserk" but it seems somewhat self-published. Hard to find a published commentary, which is surprising given his platform and how passionate he appears. II | (t - c)

Essay regarding the Cold War?[edit]

The following sentence was added to the article a few weeks ago:

Hanson is also noted for his historical essay regarding the Cold War, and the USA's foreign policy of the time, the 'Containment' Policy.

I requested a citation, but none has appeared, so I've moved it here for discussion. Does anyone know of a significant essay by VDH about the Cold War? If so, could you please add something (either here or in the article) with more details? The title of the essay would be a good start ...

Cheers, CWC 16:05, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Administrative Editor deleting RS with claims of BLP[edit]

Jayjg, you have claimed that the text you removed violated BLP. But everything you removed is cited to RS, and is mostly Victor Hanson (the subject of the article) in his own words, expressing his own point of view. Please attempt to justify your blatantly unjustified reversion, or I will add it back. In particular please specify exactly which portions of the text you deleted you believe to be a violation of BLP, and remove those portions, and only those portions, next time. Cheers, Jgui (talk) 04:22, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, as I've pointed out to you, Wikipedia:BLP#Restoring_deleted_content is quite clear:

In order to ensure that biographical material of living people is always policy-compliant, written neutrally to a high standard, and based on good quality reliable sources, the burden of proof is on those who wish to retain, restore, or undelete disputed material. Before adding or restoring material, the editor committing the edit must ensure it meets all Wikipedia content policies and guidelines, not just verifiability of sources.

In general, most of the issues with primary material authored by Hanson is covered by WP:SELFPUB. In general, you should cite reliable secondary sources on Hanson, rather than Hanson himself. In addition, blogs (e.g. "James Woolcot Blog") should be avoided. Now, in order that we get a well-rounded, neutral view of Hanson, you need to provide some reliable, reasonably neutral secondary sources to describe him. Please explain which material from which reliable secondary sources about Hanson you wish to insert. If you insist on picking specific statements he has made in his voluminous writings to include, please explain how you know that they represent a balanced view of Hanson's beliefs and writings. Jayjg (talk) 04:35, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Jayjg, as you requested I have checked all citations, and fixed where appropriate and they are all to RS such as BBC, LA Times, National Review, Jewish World Review, etc. except for a couple citations to his own speeches or writings. These give a well-rounded, neutral view of Hanson as described in all press reports I can find - if you disagree PLEASE add material that supports your alternative opinion. But PLEASE stop deleting material cited to RS suitable for BLP. And if you are sincere in wanting to improve this article, then please modify or look up citations for the large portions of text in the Writings section that you seem to approve of that are completely uncited and argumentative. Thank you, Jgui (talk) 06:44, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Hanson in america[edit]

Hi my name is Juanita Diane Hanson  I was born in Idaho in 1947 my father was Francis Leroy hanson he was born at Fort  Mc Dermott on the 8January 1898 he used many dates for the Army the other dates he uses are * January 1900 or 8 January 1906 he served in the  South Pacific.   Army serial number is 20955132  his parents were 
father  :  John Gabriel Hanson born 1876 Califorina died in Humbolt Nevada 1920
mother: (Mary) Millicent'Millie Caryle 1800 Quincey Califorina died 1950 Winnemucca
 my Grand father had two more brothers  I thinks one was Chisthoper and the other I am not sure about

if you are my relation my email is hanson

Thanks Juanita  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 23 December 2013 (UTC) 

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Messed-up references[edit]

On or October 27, 2016, anonymous editor made a series of changes that are either a clever form of vandalism or a display of gross incompetence when he/she added fake references throughout the article in the form of <sup>[nn]</sup>. Maybe they were intended to be links to the actual numbered references as they existed at the time, maybe not, but the result is a gawd-awful mess. The easy way out is to simply delete them, as I have now done, because as soon as a single reference is added or deleted earlier in the article, the static numbers in brackets become meaningless. — Quicksilver (Hydrargyrum)T @ 00:12, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

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