Best Defense

Dueling historians: Lt. Col. Bob Bateman’s takedown of Victor Davis Hanson

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on November 4, 2010. I could never quite figure out what irked me so much about Victor Davis "Carnage ‘n’ Culture” Hanson’s ...

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While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on November 4, 2010.

I could never quite figure out what irked me so much about Victor Davis "Carnage ‘n’ Culture” Hanson’s work until I read John A. Lynn. I liked what I read by Hanson about ancient Greece, but as Lynn shows, the further Hanson wandered from ancient Greece, the less he seemed like a historian and the more he came off like a polemicist with an agenda. Lt. Col. Bob Bateman, who is both an active-duty officer and an academic with terrific credentials in military history, delivered the coup de grace in a series of articles I hadn’t seen until recently.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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