News and Events
Victor Davis Hanson Presents Lecture Exploring Gifted Wartime Leaders
Victor Davis Hanson, the Spring 2011 William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, will present a lecture on Thursday, Feb. 10, exploring gifted wartime leaders throughout history. The lecture, titled “Savior Generals: How a Rare Few Win Lost Wars,” will begin at 11 a.m. in the Drescher Graduate Campus Auditorium.
Hanson will uncover instances of the darkest moments of a war—for example, the Athenians in August 480 B.C., or America in Korea during fall 1950—when a few gifted generals have almost alone turned around the entire course of a conflict. He will explore the leadership qualities of a Themistocles, Sherman, Matthew Ridgway, or David Petraeus that enabled them to win, when most others felt victory was impossible.
"I was struck how contemporary wars experience wild swings in public and media approval, dependent on the perception of progress or failure on the battlefield,” says Hanson, “and in response wished to investigate generals across time and space who saved wars that were generally considered by their superiors and countrymen as already lost."
A nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services, as well as a frequent contributor to the political National Review magazine and its corresponding website, Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian, and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture.
He is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Professor Emeritus of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno; and the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College. Among numerous awards, honors, and fellowships, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008.