The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - From Ancient Greece to Iraq

The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - From Ancient Greece to Iraq

by Victor Davis Hanson


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Stirring portraits of five commanders whose dynamic leadership changed the course of war and history by prominent military historian Victor Davis Hanson.

"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608193424
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 05/13/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 68,466
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. His many books include the acclaimed The Father of Us All, A War Like No Other, The Western Way of War, Carnage and Culture, and Ripples of Battle.

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

Acknowledgments 251

Notes 253

Bibliography 289

Index 297

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