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Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power

by Hanson, Victor Davis

  • ISBN: 9780385500524
  • ISBN10: 0385500521

Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power

by Hanson, Victor Davis

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books
  • Publish date: 01/01/2008
  • ISBN: 9780385500524
  • ISBN10: 0385500521
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Description: Why are Western values, ideas, and practices spreading unopposed throughout the world? In "Carnage and Culture", military historian Victor Davis Hanson argues that it all comes down to the Western knack for killing.

Examining key battles pitting Western against non-Western armies -- from the stunning Greek victory at Salamis in 480 B.C. to Cortes's conquest of Mexico City in 1521 to the American-led assault on Iraq in 1990 -- Hanson reveals the cultural underpinnings that determined the course and consequences of each engagement. As he brings the graphic details of war to life with compelling immediacy, Hanson zeros in on the cultural values that have enabled Western armies, often vastly outnumbered and far from home, to slaughter their opponents and impose their social, economic, political, and cultural structures on other civilizations.

The author delineates the characteristics of successful armies -- including individual initiative, superior organization and discipline, access to matchless weapons, and tactical adaptation and flexibility. Then he shows how these characteristics develop and flourish as a result of such traditional Western institutions and ideals as consensual government, free inquiry and innovative enterprise, rationalism, and the value placed on freedom and individualism.

"Carnage and Culture" is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about the history and future of the West, set in motion by recent controversial works by Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington, and Paul Johnson.

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