Victor Davis Hanson

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Not to be confused with Victor M. Hansen.
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson.jpg
Hanson giving a lecture at Kenyon College in May 2005
Born (1953-09-05) September 5, 1953 (age 63)
Fowler, California, U.S.
Occupation Writer, historian, farmer
Nationality American
Ethnicity Swedish
Subject Military history, classics

Victor Davis Hanson (born September 5, 1953) is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a commentator on modern warfare and contemporary politics for National Review, The Washington Times and other media outlets. He was a professor emeritus of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004.[1] Hanson is perhaps best known for his 2001 book Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power.

Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush.[2] Hanson is a blogger on current affairs, particularly regarding the U.S. in the Middle East and the U.S.-Mexico situation [clarification needed]. Hanson is also a fifth-generation farmer, growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism.

Early life, education and today[edit]

Hanson, who is of Swedish descent, grew up on a family farm at Selma, California in the San Joaquin Valley. His mother was a lawyer and judge, his father an educator and college administrator. Along with his older brother Nils and fraternal twin Alfred, Hanson attended public schools and graduated from Selma High School. Hanson received his BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1975[3] and his PhD in classics from Stanford University in 1980. He is a Protestant Christian.[4]

Hanson is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Fellow in California Studies at the Claremont Institute, and professor emeritus at California State University, Fresno,[5] where he began teaching in 1984, having created the classics program at that institution.

In 1991 Hanson was awarded an American Philological Association's Excellence in Teaching Award, which is awarded to undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin.[5] He has been a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), as well as holding the visiting Shifrin Chair of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002–03).

Hanson writes a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Media Services, and has been published in The New York Times, American Heritage, and The New Criterion, among other publications. In 2006, he started blogging at PJ Media. In 2007, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush.[5]


Hanson cites the Theban general and statesman Epaminondas, Winston Churchill, and the U.S. generals William Tecumseh Sherman and George Patton as his heroes. In the field of military history, Hanson cites John Keegan as being influential, and shares a mutual admiration with fellow classicist Donald Kagan and the historian Steven Ozment.

Carnage and Culture[edit]

Hanson is perhaps best known for his 2001 book, Carnage and Culture (titled in some countries as Why the West Has Won), in which he argued that the military dominance of western civilization, beginning with the ancient Greeks, is the result of certain fundamental aspects of western culture, such as consensual government and individualism. Hanson rejects racial explanations for this military preeminence and disagrees as well with environmental or geographical explanations such as those put forth by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel.[6]

According to Hanson, western values such as political freedom, capitalism, individualism, democracy, scientific inquiry, rationalism, and open debate form an especially lethal combination when applied to warfare. Non-western societies can win the occasional victory when warring against a society with these western values, writes Hanson, but the "Western way of war" will prevail in the long run. Hanson emphasizes that western warfare is not necessarily more (or less) moral than war as practiced by other cultures; his argument is simply that the "Western way of war" is unequalled in its devastation and decisiveness.

Carnage and Culture examines nine battles throughout history, each of which is used to illustrate a particular aspect of Western culture that Hanson believes contributes to the dominance of Western warfare. The battles or campaigns recounted (with themes in parenthesis) are the Battle of Salamis (480 BC; free citizens), the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC; the decisive battle of annihilation), the Battle of Cannae (216 BC; civic militarism), the Battle of Tours/Poitiers (732; infantry), the Battle of Tenochtitlan (1521; technology and reason), the Battle of Lepanto (1571; capitalism), the Battle of Rorke's Drift (1879; discipline), the Battle of Midway (1942; individualism), and the Tet Offensive (1968; dissent).

Though Carnage and Culture appeared before the September 11 attacks of 2001, its message that the "Western way of war" will ultimately prevail made the book a bestseller in the wake of those events. Immediately after 9/11, Carnage and Culture was re-issued with a new afterword by Hanson in which he explicitly stated that the United States government would win its "War on Terror" for the reasons stated in the book.

The American military historian Robert Bateman in a 2007 article criticized the Hanson thesis, arguing if Hanson's point about the Western armies preferring to seek out a decisive battle of annihilation is rebutted by the Second Punic War, where the Roman attempts to annihilate the Carthaginians instead led to the Carthaginians annihilating the Romans at the Battle of Cannae.[7] Bateman argued that Hanson was wrong about Western armies seeking out a battle of annihilation, arguing that the Romans only defeated the Carthaginians via the Fabian Strategy of keeping their armies in being and not engaging Hannibal in battle.[7] In his first response, Hanson argued that Bateman was engaged in a "puerile, politically correct" attack on him, and accused Bateman of being motivated by left-wing politics rather a genuine interest in history.[8] In a second response, Hanson called Bateman "unhinged", accusing him of being poorly informed of history and geography.[9] Hanson argued that Bateman was incorrect about the Battle of Yarmouk arguing that the Golan Heights were at the edge of the Eastern Roman Empire, instead of being in the center as Bateman argued, and claimed that the Romans lost because of divided leadership rather because of superior Islamic generalship as Bateman had contended.[9]

United States education and classical studies[edit]

Hanson co-authored the book Who Killed Homer? with John Heath. This book explores the issue of how classical education has declined in the US and what might be done to restore it to its former place. This is important, according to Hanson and Heath, because knowledge of the classical Greeks and Romans is necessary to fully understand Western culture. To begin a discussion along these lines the authors state, "The answer to why the world is becoming Westernized goes all the way back to the wisdom of the Greeks—reason enough why we must not abandon the study of our heritage".[10]

Hanson and Heath blame the academic classicists themselves for the decline, accusing them of becoming so infected with political correctness and postmodern thinking, not to mention egoism and money-grubbing (grants, visiting professorships, conference-hopping, promotion based on unreadable publications), that they have lost sight of what Hanson and Heath feel the classics truly represent. They say it this way, "the study of Greek in the last twenty years became a profession, a tiny world—but a world of sorts nonetheless—of jets, conferences, publicity, jargon, and perks".[11]

The classicists Victoria Cech and Joy Connolly have found Who Killed Homer? to have considerable pitfalls. Reviews of the book have noted several problems with the authors' perception of classical culture.

Per Victoria Cech, Director of Grants & Program Development,[12]

Per Joy Connolly, Professor of Classics at New York University,[14]

Political views[edit]

Hanson is a registered member of the Democratic Party but also a conservative who voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections.[16]

Hanson writes a weekly column, for the National Review and has been published in, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Commentary, City Journal, The American Spectator, Policy Review, the Claremont Review of Books, and The Weekly Standard. Hanson was awarded the Claremont Institute's Statesmanship Award at its annual Churchill Dinner, and the $250,000 Bradley prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in 2008.[17]

He has been described as a neoconservative by some commentators,[18][19] and has stated, "I came to support neocon approaches first in the wars against the Taliban and Saddam, largely because I saw little alternative."[20] In 2005 Hanson wrote "The Democratic Party reminds me of the Republicans circa 1965 or so – impotent, shrill, no ideas, conspiratorial, reactive, out-of-touch with most Americans, isolationist, and full of embarrassing spokesmen."[21]

More recently, Hanson has appeared to reject the term neoconservative, writing in a 2016 column "Hillary’s Neoliberals" that the term neoconservative was coined in the 1970s to describe liberals who moved right.[22] Hanson, who supports the candidacy of Donald Trump, has been angered by the decision of several neoconservatives to declare their support for Hillary Clinton.[22] Hanson has attacked these neoconservatives as "neoliberals" who were never entirely proper conservative, arguing that these people had joined the Republican Party out of distaste for the Democratic Party which had nominated as the presidential candidates George McGovern in 1972 and Jimmy Carter in 1976 as opposed to converting to conservatism.[22] Hanson presented the neoconservatives opposed to Trump as arrogant elitists out of touch with ordinary Americans while praising the populist Trump as the authentic voice of the American people.[22] Hanson ended his column that there were now two factions in America-the ordinary Americans supporting Trump vs. the elites of both the Democratic and Republican parties.[22] Hanson wrote: "A mostly urban, highly educated, and high-income globalized elite often shares more cultural and political affinities with their counterparts on the other side of the aisle than they do with the lower-middle and working classes of their own parties. Just as Hillary Clinton may feel more comfortable with the old neoconservatives, Trump supporters have little in common with either Clintonites or neocons. Clinton versus Trump is a war of NPR, CBS, and the New York Times against the National Enquirer, conservative talk radio, and the Drudge Report. Clinton supporters such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, onetime Bush officials Hank Paulson and Brent Scowcroft, and billionaire Meg Whitman certainly have nothing in common with Republican Trump supporters such as Mike Huckabee and Rush Limbaugh. Culture, not just politics, is rapidly destroying — but also rebuilding — traditional political parties."[22]

Hanson was a strong defender of George W. Bush and his policies,[23] especially the Iraq War.[24] He was also a vocal supporter of Bush's Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Hanson wrote of Rumsfeld that he was: "a rare sort of secretary of the caliber of George Marshall" and a "proud and honest-speaking visionary" whose "hard work and insight are bringing us ever closer to victory".[25]

On the issues pertaining to the constant political turmoil in the Middle East, Hanson emphasises the lack of individual and political freedom in many Middle Eastern nations as a major factor retarding economic, technological and cultural progress. He further relates the root cause of radical Islamic terrorism to insecurities and a need to regain honor and pride.[26]

Iraq War[edit]

Hanson believed that the Iraq War was a good and worthwhile undertaking and was, on the whole, a laudable success. However, he stated in 2008 that he "disagreed with many of the decisions made about the Iraq war," such as the dissolution of the old Iraqi army.[20] Hanson argued that the "surge" of 2007-08 had largely won the Iraq War by the beginning of 2009, and that rise of the Islamic State terrorist group which seized control of much of Iraq in mid-2014 was the result of what Hanson sees as the unwise withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq in December 2011, which he blames on the Obama administration.[27] Hanson argued that if only American troops had stayed in Iraq after December 2011, then the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would have been less sectarian and the Islamic State group would had never emerged.[28] Hanson argued that the December 2011 withdrawal from Iraq was motivated to help improve Obama's chances of reelection in 2012, an act that he compared to being equivalent to the United States pulling its troops out of South Korea in 1955, arguing if only the Americans had stayed in Iraq, then that nation would have evolved into a Near Eastern version of South Korea.[29]

America and the world[edit]

In 2004, Hanson gave a very favorable review to the book Colossus by the British historian Niall Ferguson, where Ferguson argued that the United States should be an imperial power and the principle problem with Americans was that they were unwilling to embrace imperialism in the same way that people in 19th century Britain did.[30] Hanson found much to approve of in Ferguson's book, writing: "In reality, we should be natural imperialists, given our wealth and expertise. Americans are also endowed with an exceptional moral sense. We are a generous people, whose checkered imperial interventions in the past rarely proved profitable or exploitive."[30] Hanson agreed with Ferguson that the principle problem with Americans was an unease at playing the role of an imperialistic power, argued that post-1945 histories of Germany and Japan proved the beneficial results of American occupation and predicted that Iraq under American occupation would become just as much as a prosperous and democratic society as Germany and Japan are.[30] Hanson praised Ferguson for his defense of the British Empire as a benevolent force and his thesis that the United States should play the same role in the world as the British Empire, writing: "Does Ferguson propose a new American liberal empire? In fact, he does almost, but not before noting that the British Victorians themselves got a bad rap as exploitive colonialists. In fact, the record of the 18th and 19th centuries prove exactly the opposite: Former and once-prosperous colonies, following autonomy, quickly turned into self-induced miseries, while Britain itself thrived as never before once free of these costly obligations. Empire turns out not to be a means of making money, but instead an idealist pursuit to keep sea lanes open, bullies at bay and nations trading rather than fighting. The world has been lucky to have the Americans fill this vacuum, inasmuch as the British once did a pretty good job of it as well."[30] Hanson also praised Ferguson for his very negative picture of the European Union as an unsustainable entity whose nations were in demographic decline that were going to all go bankrupt as a result of excessively generous welfare states, and whose people were all wimpy cowards unable like the tough and hardy Americans to stand up to Islamic terrorists.[30]

Israeli–Arab conflict[edit]

In his article Israel did it, Hanson asked why Israel was being blamed for responding to attacks by Hezbollah.[31] Hanson who tends to be ultra-critical of the administration of Barack Obama has accused the Obama administration of shunning Israel for a successful Western nation in the Middle East, and of preferring the Palestinian Authority and Hamas for being anti-Western.[32]

Race relations[edit]

Hanson has often argued that there is little or no racism of the part of whites in modern America, and complaints of racism are simply whining from a privileged African-American elite that uses charges of racism whenever they don't get their way.[33] In 2009, about the Gates affair when the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested in his home by a white policeman who suspected a break-in, Hanson argued that the policeman was justified under the grounds that "...African-American males commit crimes at rates both higher than the general population’s, and at levels higher than other minority groups that likewise struggle with poverty and unfairness."[34] In a 2012 column entitled "The New Racial Derangement Syndrome", Hanson argued that most of the racism in modern America comes from black Americans, citing various statements by prominent African-Americans such as Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock and Rob Parker that he saw as anti-white as signs of a "racialist derangement" sweeping across black America.[35] In a 2015 column entitled "The Weariness of the Whiners", Hanson mocked the talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey for claiming she was a victim of racism when a clerk at the Trois Pommes boutique refused to hand over a $38, 000 handbag to her.[33] In a 2016 column "The New Segregationism", Hanson used as an example of what he sees as the absurdity of the claim that there is anti-black racism in modern America the complaint by the actor Will Smith that he was not nominated for an Oscar.[36] Hanson is very hostile towards the group Black Lives Matter, which he maintains is a group based on "racial chauvinism" and "whining" which has told a "series of lies" about the police killings of black men, which Hanson argues were justified.[37] Hanson has claimed that responsibility for declining racial relations rests with Barack Obama, whom Hanson charges has deliberately inflamed racial tensions between whites and blacks as a way of securing the votes of black Americans for the Democrats.[38] Hanson has accused Obama of having "...systematically adopted a rhetoric and an agenda that is predicated on dividing up the country according to tribal grievances, in hopes of recalibrating various factions into a majority grievance culture. In large part, he has succeeded politically. But in doing so he has nearly torn the country apart. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to suggest that no other recent president has offered such a level of polarizing and divisive racial bombast."[39]

Hanson has been consistently critical of illegal immigration into the United States from Mexico and the Central American republics, which he sees as threatening to swamp the United States with millions of Spanish-speakers who refused to assimilate and many of whom he charges are criminals. In a 2014 column "1984 Redux: Orwellian Illegal Immigration" Hanson wrote that Hispanic groups that use the name La Raza are racists who have "hijacked" America's immigration policy to permit unrestricted illegal immigration into the United States, make false claims of suffering racial prejudice from whites while keeping themselves separate from the rest of Americans.[40] Hanson has condemned groups such as the National Council of La Raza as he argued that term La Raza is a "racialist term" whose origins he claims go back to Spain of General Francisco Franco, and those Mexican-Americans who use the term La Raza are racial separatists.[41] In this regard, Hanson has voiced support for Donald Trump's plans to deport all illegal 11 million immigrants from the United States, a policy that Hanson wrote would be "unworkable", but was far preferable to the status quo.[42] Hanson is opposed to the mass influx of refugees into Europe, arguing using terms from H.G. Well's 1895 novel The Time Machine that the millions of Muslims fleeing to Europe are the "Morlocks" (i.e. fierce, savage creatures) who will devour the Europeans who are "Eloi" (i.e. gentle, defenseless creatures).[43] Hanson wrote that: "Europe’s immigration policy is a disaster — and for reasons that transcend the idiocy of allowing the free influx of young male Muslims from a premodern, war-torn Middle East into a postmodern, pacifist, and post-Christian Europe."[43] Hanson has called the German Chancellor Angela Merkel "unhinged" for welcoming about a million refugees fleeing from the Syrian Civil War into her nation instead of sending them all back to Syria.[44] Hanson has denied that Syrians fleeing into Europe are refugees from the civil war, writing that most are "...young, single men from the Middle East who pour into Europe not as political refuges but as opportunists eager for European social largesse".[45] Hanson wrote "Merkel's disastrous decision to open the borders of Germany — and with them Europe’s as well — is proving both selfish and suicidal."[45]

Along the same lines, Hanson has argued that history proves that a multi-ethnic and/or multi-cultural societies have always been disastrous failures, and that only way of preventing a society from collapsing into a bloodbath is a "common culture, one that artificially suppresses the natural instinct of humans to identify first with their particular tribe".[39] As an example of what he sees as an iron law of history, Hanson wrote: "The Italian Roman Republic lasted about 500 years. In contrast, the multiracial Roman Empire that after the Edict of Caracalla in AD 212 made all its diverse peoples equal citizens endured little more than two (often violent) centuries."[46] Along the same lines Hanson wrote in the 2016 column "Diversity: History’s Pathway to Chaos" that: "Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history".[47] Hanson charged that the current celebration of diversity was destroying America and ended with the statement if the celebration of diversity did not end: "Otherwise, we will end up as 50 separate and rival nations — just like other failed states in history whose diverse tribes and races destroyed themselves in a Hobbesian dog-eat-dog war with one another."[47] In a 2013 column entitled "Western Cultural Suicide", Hanson wrote: "Multiculturalism — as opposed to the notion of a multiracial society united by a single culture — has become an abject contradiction in the modern Western world... Western hosts lost confidence in the very society that gives us the wealth and leisure to ignore or caricature its foundations. The result is that millions of immigrants flock to the West, enjoy its material security, and yet feel little need to bond with their adopted culture, given that their hosts themselves are ambiguous about what others desperately seek out".[48] Writing about the murder of a British soldier by two Nigerian Muslims on the streets of London in May 2013, Hanson wrote the murder reflected what he viewed as cultural decline, stating: "In Britain, as in the West in general, deportation is a fossilized concept. Unity is passé. Patriotism is long suspect. The hip metrosexual cultures of the urban West strain to find fault in their inheritance, and seem to appreciate those who do that in the most cool fashion — but always with the expectation that there will be some poor blokes who, in terms of clean water, medical care, free speech, and dependable electricity, ensure that London is not Lagos, that Stockholm is not Damascus, and that Los Angeles is not Nuevo Laredo."[48] Through acknowledging that in the early years of the American republic that to be American was to be white, Hanson argued that the "ultimate logic" of the American constitution led to the United States becoming a society where "multiracialism under one common culture" was the norm, but unfortunately in the late 20th century "multiculturalism, in which each particular ethnic group retained its tribal chauvinism and saw itself as separate from the whole" become the new norm.[46]

In July 2013, the Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech when he mentioned that as a black man the need to deliver "the Talk" to his children, namely he would have to inform his children that some people who were going to hate them not because what they did, but simply because of their skin color. In response to Holder's speech, Hanson wrote a column titled "Facing Facts about Race" where he offered up his own version of "the Talk", namely the need to inform his children to fear young black men who Hanson argued were statistically more likely to be violent criminals than young men of other races, and that therefore it was appropriate for the police to single out young black men.[49] Hanson wrote his father had been robbed by young black men, and had given him "the Talk" warning his son to stay away from black men; and Hanson added that having been robbed himself by black men, he had given "the Talk" warning his children to stay away from young black men, whom Hanson claimed were all probably violent criminals.[49] Hanson criticized Holder and Obama for suggesting that racism may had been a factor in the trial of George Zimmerman who had been charged and acquitted of murder with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.[49] Hanson argued that Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin, and claimed that Obama was only claiming racism was a factor in the case to distract attention from his failed presidency.[49] Referring to the case of two Vietnamese-Americans killed by a black thief, Hanson wrote: "The world will long remember Trayvon Martin, but few people — and certainly not Barack Obama or Eric Holder, who have a bad habit, in an increasingly multiracial country, of claiming solidarity on the basis of race — will care that Khin Min and Lina Lim were torn to pieces by bullets and a knife. Few will care that they died in a vicious assault that had nothing to do with stereotyping, Stand Your Ground self-defense, weak gun laws, insufficient federal civil-rights legislation, or any of the other causes of interracial violence falsely advanced by the attorney general — but quite a lot to do with an urban culture that for unspoken reasons has spawned an epidemic of disproportionate violent crime on the part of young African-American males."[49]

In response to "Facing Facts About Race", the American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates accused Hanson of racism and stupidity.[50] Referring to Hanson's "Talk", Coates wrote: "Let us be direct -- in any other context we would automatically recognize this "talk" as stupid advice. If I were to tell you that I only employ Asian-Americans to do my taxes because "Asian-Americans do better on the Math SAT," you would not simply question my sensitivity, but my mental faculties. That is because you would understand that in making an individual decision, employing an ancestral class of millions is not very intelligent. Moreover, were I to tell you I wanted my son to marry a Jewish woman because "Jews are really successful," you would understand that statement for the stupidity which it is...There is no difference between my argument above and the notion that black boys should be avoided because they are overrepresented in the violent crime stats. But one of the effects of racism is its tendency to justify stupidity."[50] The Anglo-American journalist Andrew Sullivan called Hanson's column "spectacularly stupid", writing: "Treating random strangers as inherently dangerous because of their age, gender and skin color is a choice to champion fear over reason, a decision to embrace easy racism over any attempt to overcome it".[51] The American journalist Arthur Stern called "Facing Facts About Race" an "inflammatory" column based upon crime statistics that Hanson never cited, writing: "His presentation of this controversial opinion as undeniable fact without exhaustive statistical proof is undeniably racist."[52] The Anglo-American journalist Kelefa Sanneh in response to "Facing Facts About Race" wrote that Hanson was wrong to claim that the white and Asian-Americans were all victims of black criminals, writing: "It’s strange, then, to read Hanson writing as if the fear of violent crime were mainly a “white or Asian” problem, about which African-Americans might be uninformed, or unconcerned—as if African-American parents weren’t already giving their children more detailed and nuanced versions of Hanson’s “sermon,” sharing his earnest and absurd hope that the right words might keep trouble at bay."[53] The Anglo-American journalist John Derbyshire who was fired from the National Review for writing a similar column in 2012 titled "The Talk: Nonblack Version" came to Hanson's defense, praising him for "spot-on observations" about race relations in modern America, through he argued that his column was much superior.[54] In "The Talk: Nonblack Version", Derbyshire went well beyond what Hanson had advocated, telling his children not to live in cities with black mayors, never to help a black person in distress, to avoid all public gatherings with large numbers of black people and only have a few black people as friends to avoid allegations of prejudice.[55] Contra Coates, Derbyshire argued in support of Hanson that the best way to avoid being a victim of crime was: "..stay well clear of crowds of unfamiliar blacks. Might application of those rules leave someone with hurt feelings? Probably. So in this pan we have some stranger’s hurt feelings. In the other pan, we have our kids’ safety. What’s the beam doing, Ta-Nehisi?".[54] Hanson in response to Sanneh's essay accused him of a "McCarthyite character assassination" and "infantile, if not racialist, logic".[56]

Confrontation with Iran[edit]

Hanson has argued that the U.S. should take a much more confrontational stance towards Iran, advocating unilateral responses to the country. On the Hugh Hewitt show in August 2007, Hanson stated, "We really need to start doing some things beyond talking, and if that is going into Iranian airspace, or buzzing Iranians, or even starting to forget where the border is and taking out some of these training camps, we need to do that and send a message, because they’re a paper tiger. They really are."[57] In a 2014 column Hanson accused the Obama administration of engaging in "appeasement" of Iran and of fruitlessly attempting to negotiate an end to the Iranian program to acquire nuclear weapons, predicating: "Accordingly, it is more than likely that in the next two years Iran will become a nuclear power."[58]


Hanson has argued that China is an aggressive power that is set upon dominating East Asia. In a 2014 column titled "Is China copying the Old Imperial Japan?", Hanson answered his question in the affirmative.[59] Hanson maintained that economically successful Asian nations without the restraining power of the United States are naturally inclined to expansionism.[59] Hanson claimed that Japan as a result of Meiji era reforms had become powerful at the same time the United States had retreated into isolationism which allowed Japan to embark upon an imperialistic foreign policy, that the same time was happening today with China and the United States under the leadership of Barack Obama.[59] Along these lines, Hanson has accused China of attempting to create its version of "Greater East Asia co-prosperity sphere", which would incorporate all of East Asia.[60]


Hanson has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of engaging in "appeasement" of Russia. Hanson argues that Vladimir Putin is the embodiment of "eternal Russia", an aggressively expansionistic and anti-Western nation whose people are innately anti-democratic. In a 2012 column titled "History Never Quite Ends", Hanson wrote: "From the czars to the Soviet Communists to Vladimir Putin’s cronies, there is something about constitutional government and liberal rule that bothers Mother Russia. The more that progressive outsiders seek to lecture or reform Russians, the more likely they are to bristle and push back with left-wing or right-wing nationalist strongmen. At present, we do not know whether there will be a Czar Vladimir, Comrade Putin, or Putin Inc. in charge, but we fear it does not matter much".[61] Hanson depicts modern Russia in unflattening terms as "...a disaster of a declining population, corruption, authoritarianism, a warped economy, and a high rate of alcoholism."[62] Precisely because Russia is so weak, Hanson claims that Putin is driven to aggression against his neighbors with the overwhelmingly support of the Russian people out of a sense of hurt pride and a desire to make Russia great again.[62] In 2014, Hanson called Putin "evil", writing: "Putin is almost Milton’s Satan — as if, in his seductive evil, he yearns for clarity, perhaps even a smackdown, if not just for himself, for us as well. He is not the better man than Obama but, again like Milton’s Satan, the more interesting, if only because he reminds of us of our own limitations."[63] In a 2015 column, Hanson wrote about he views as the aims of Russian foreign policy that: "Russian president Vladimir Putin thinks he can reconstitute the empire of the czars and the later Soviet Union. American “reset” diplomacy green-lighted his annexation of the Crimea and his occupation of areas of Ukraine. Should Putin wish to absorb Estonia or other Baltic States, NATO probably would not stop him."[64]

Hanson has often stated that Obama's much heralded "reset" of relations with Russia in 2009 had "empowered" Putin and was in this way Obama was thus responsible for outbreak of the war in Ukraine in 2014.[28][63][64][65] In 2009, Hanson wrote about the "reset": "...former Soviet republics understand that Russia’s Putin has a de facto green light to “readjust” their present-day, “ad hoc” borders — with President Obama about as clear on any future dispute as candidate Obama was about Georgia."[66] In 2014 Hanson predicated that Russia might very well invade Estonia in the near future, stating: "Future targeted states, perhaps like Estonia, should understand that they are slated to play the 1939 role of Poland after the earlier Anschluss and dismemberment of Czechoslovakia."[67] In 2014, Hanson predicated that the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, which Hanson calls the "Russian Union" would continue to grow, writing: "Soon the Russian Union could dwarf the European Union, as the former consolidates and the latter threatens to fragment."[68]

In 2015, Hanson wrote: "Obama’s reset was a green light for Putin. Who in the real world of serious diplomacy shows up in Geneva with a red plastic toy reset button, complete with a mistranslated Russian label? When Putin soon sized up the Obama administration’s appeasement around the globe — from fake red lines for Syria, to a scramble out of Iraq, to chaos in Libya — he moved into Crimea...As he swallows eastern Ukraine, he now eyes the Baltic States. He does not quite have a map on his wall of a new czarist Orthodox state the size of the Soviet Union, but he does have a general sense that there are a lot more former Soviet republics to be had — and he is eager to poke here and there to find out which will be the easiest to grab next."[69] In another 2015 column, Hanson wrote about he sees as Putin's mindset that: "Obama’s false step-over, red, and deadlines confirmed Putin’s impressions of the continued weak leadership of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry. He probably believes that he can do to Estonia what he has done to Crimea or Ukraine — and without too many more consequences. Putin is not greatly worried that the U.S. will reenergize NATO, rebuild its own nuclear deterrent, work with the Eastern Europeans on missile defense, or start exporting its plentiful natural gas to a Russia-dependent Europe. Right now Putin is digesting Eastern Ukraine and sizing up Obama’s responses to others’ aggressions. But next year, in the last twelve months of the Obama administration, we should expect him to move on another former Soviet republic, as well as to emphasize new partnerships with China, a few Eastern European or Balkan nations, or an ascendant Iran."[70]

Hanson is opposed to the Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, which he argues is a part of a bid by Putin to construct an anti-American Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Iraqi alliance that will dominate the Middle East and intimidate the Gulf states.[71] Hanson has made the claim that the primary responsibility for the outbreak of the Second World War was not due to Adolf Hitler, but was rather due to the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the French Premier Édouard Daladier who failed to maintain a credible threats of deterrence.[72] Hanson has argued Obama has likewise failed to maintain credible of deterrence, and as such, the world is one of the verge of another war comparable to the Second World War.[72] Hanson has predicated that Putin will sometime in the near-future invade one or more of the Baltic states if the United States does not provide more deterrence to Russia.[73]



  1. ^ "Works and Days: Back to the Future?" by Victor Davis Hanson,, August 29, 2006Archived November 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  2. ^ 2007 National Humanities Medal winners at the National Endowment for the Humanities' website
  3. ^ "VDH Private Papers" Victor Davis Hanson website, accessed August 8, 2010Archived January 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  4. ^ "Do We Want Mexifornia?", Victor Davis Hanson, City Journal, Spring 2002
  5. ^ a b c "Classical Studies Program". Retrieved September 4, 2016. 
  6. ^ Decline And Fall: A review of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Magazine, May 20, 2005[dead link]
  7. ^ a b Bateman, Robert (29 October 2007). "Bateman on Hanson, Round 1: Cannae, 2 August 216 B.C.". Media Matters. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  8. ^ Hanson, Victor Davis (5 November 2007). "Squaring Off: Part II". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  9. ^ a b Hanson, Victor Davis (22 November 2007). "Bateman Encore". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  10. ^ Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2001), 28.
  11. ^ Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2001), 157.
  12. ^ "MHA...An Association of Montana Health Care Providers". Retrieved September 4, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Who Killed Homer?". The Montana Professor. 
  14. ^ "NYU > Classics > Joy Connolly". Retrieved September 4, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. 
  16. ^ Interview, Proceedings, March 2003
  17. ^ 2008 Bradley Prize Winners at The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation's websiteArchived August 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  18. ^ Bush pulls neocons out of the shadows Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2005
  19. ^ The end of the neo-cons? BBC News, February 9, 2009
  20. ^ a b The Neocon Slur, Victor Davis Hanson, July 12, 2008 (originally posted at Hanson's Works and Days blog)Archived February 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  21. ^ Question Log on Hanson's website, February 2005Archived March 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  22. ^ a b c d e f Victor Davis Hanson (August 22, 2016). "Hillary's Neoliberals". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  23. ^ On Loathing Bush – It’s not about what he does, Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, August 13, 2004Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  24. ^ Myth or Reality – Will Iraq work? That’s up to us, Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, April 23, 2004Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  25. ^ Leave Rumsfeld Be – He is not to blame for our difficulties, Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, December 23, 2004Archived July 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  26. ^ It's not just about land by Victor Davis Hanson, Jewish World Review, August 3, 2006
  27. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (October 14, 2014). "The Ruins of the Middle East". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  28. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (October 13, 2015). "The Road to Middle East Perdition". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  29. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (September 30, 2014). "Iraq Was Then, Syria Is Now". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  30. ^ a b c d e Victor Davis Hanson (June 5, 2004). "The Power To Do Good". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  31. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (December 15, 2006). "Israel did it!". National Review. 
  32. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (September 29, 2015). "Obama's Hope-and-Change Foreign Policy". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  33. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (September 12, 2015). "The Weariness of the Whinners". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  34. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (August 2, 2009). "Lose, Lose When You Talk About Race". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  35. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (December 27, 2012). "The New Racial Derangement Syndrome". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  36. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (January 27, 2016). "The New Segregationism". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  37. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (September 20, 2015). "'Black Lives Matter'—a Year From Now". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  38. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (October 1, 2013). "Obama: Transforming America". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  39. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (July 13, 2016). "Fundamentally Transformed". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  40. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (August 4, 2014). "1984 Redux: Orwellian Illegal Immigration". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  41. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (June 24, 2015). "America: One Nation, Indivisible". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  42. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (August 24, 2015). "Absurd—and Not-so-Absurd—Immigration". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  43. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (March 29, 2016). "Europe at the Edge of the Abyss". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  44. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (January 23, 2016). "The Enigma of Germany". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  45. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (December 21, 2015). "The Decline of Modern Germany". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  46. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (June 13, 2016). "America: History's Exception". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  47. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (September 1, 2016). "Diversity: History's Pathway to Chaos". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  48. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (May 29, 2013). "Western Cultural Suicide". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  49. ^ a b c d e Victor Davis Hanson (July 23, 2013). "Facing Facts About Race". National Review Online. 
  50. ^ a b Te-Nehisi Coates (July 23, 2013). "It's the Racism, Stupid!". The Atlantic. 
  51. ^ Andrew Sullivan (July 23, 2013). "It's Not Racist …". The Daily Dish. 
  52. ^ Arthur Stern (July 25, 2013). "A Millennial Takedown Of Victor Davis Hanson's 'Facts About Race'". News.Mic. 
  53. ^ Kelefa Sanneh (July 24, 2013). "A Sermon on Race from National Review". The New Yorker. 
  54. ^ a b John Derbyshire (July 25, 2013). "John Derbyshire Wonders: Will NATIONAL REVIEW Derbyshire Victor Davis Hanson?". 
  55. ^ John Derbyshire (April 5, 2012). "The Talk: Nonblack Version"". Taki's Magazine. 
  56. ^ "Untruth at the New Yorker". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. July 29, 2013. 
  57. ^ Hugh Hewitt Show transcript, August 13, 2007 Archived December 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  58. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (November 4, 2014). "Sizing America Up". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  59. ^ a b c Victor Davis Hanson (January 9, 2014). "Is China copying the old imperial Japan?". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  60. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (January 27, 2015). "Barack Obama, Empire Builder". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  61. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (March 6, 2012). "History Never Quite Ends". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  62. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (May 8, 2014). "What Drives Vladimir Putin?ļ". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  63. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (February 11, 2014). "The Value of Putin". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  64. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (June 19, 2015). "The New World Map". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  65. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (July 30, 2014). "Our Russia Experts". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  66. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (December 5, 2009). "Resetting the Reset Button". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  67. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (July 28, 2014). "Why Is the World Becoming Such a Nasty Place?". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  68. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (September 3, 2014). "The New World Disorder". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  69. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (March 24, 2015). "The Putin Way". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  70. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (July 14, 2015). "The Four Horsemen of a Looming Apocalypse". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  71. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (October 8, 2015). "Don't Trust Putin in the Mideast". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  72. ^ a b Victor Davis Hanson (May 19, 2016). "How Barack Obama's Foreign Policy De-Stabilized the World". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  73. ^ Victor Davis Hanson (April 12, 2016). "The Next President Is Going to Be Hated". Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers. 
  74. ^ Fredric Smoler "Study of the War on Terrorism: The View from 400 B.C.," American Heritage, Nov./Dec. 2006.

External links[edit]