"Victor Davis Hanson has written another outstanding and eye-opening book"The Washington Examiner
Prominent military historian Victor Davis Hanson explores the nature of leadership with his usual depth and vivid prose in The Savior Generals, a set of brilliantly executed pocket biographies of five generals (Themistocles, Belisarius, William Tecumseh Sherman, Matthew Ridgway, and David Petraeus) who single-handedly saved their nations from defeat in war. War is rarely a predictable enterprise-it is a mess of luck, chance, and incalculable variables. Today's sure winner can easily become tomorrow's doomed loser. Sudden, sharp changes in fortune can reverse the course of war.
These intractable circumstances are sometimes mastered by leaders of genius-asked at the eleventh hour to save a hopeless conflict, one created by others and frequently unpopular politically and with the public. The savior generals often come from outside the established power structure, employ radical strategies, and flame out quickly. Their careers regularly end in controversy. But their dramatic feats of leadership are vital slices of history-not merely as stirring military narrative, but as lessons on the dynamic nature of consensus, leadership, and destiny.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Prologue: Saving Lost Wars 1
Chapter 1 Athens Is Burning: Themistocles at Salamis-September 480 B.C. 8
Chapter 2 Byzantium at the Brink: The Fireman Flavius Belisarius-A.D. 527-59 49
Chapter 3 "Atlanta Is Ours and Fairly Won": William Tecumseh Sherman's Gift to Abraham Lincoln-Summer 1864 96
Chapter 4 One Hundred Days in Korea Matthew Ridgway Takes Over-Winter 1950-51 140
Chapter 5 Iraq Is "Lost": David Petraeus and the Surge in Iraq-January 2007-May 2008 190
Epilogue: A Rare Breed 238