Synopses & Reviews
The effects of war refuse to remain local: they persist through the centuries, sometimes in unlikely ways far removed from the military arena. In Ripples of Battle
the acclaimed historian Victor Davis Hanson weaves wide-ranging military and cultural history with his unparalleled gift for battle narrative as he illuminates the centrality of war in the human experience.
The Athenian defeat at Delium in 424 BC brought tactical innovations to infantry fighting; it also assured the influence of the philosophy of Socrates, who fought well in the battle. Nearly twenty-three hundred years later, the carnage at Shiloh and the death of the brilliant Southern strategist Albert Sidney Johnson inspired a sense of fateful tragedy that would endure and stymie Southern culture for decades. The Northern victory would also bolster the reputation of William Tecumseh Sherman, and inspire Lew Wallace to pen the classic Ben Hur. And, perhaps most resonant for our time, the agony of Okinawa spurred the Japanese toward state-sanctioned suicide missions, a tactic so uncompromising and subversive, it haunts our view of non-Western combatants to this day.
About the Author
Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian who is a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno. He has written several scholarly and popular books on ancient history and classical warfare, including The Other Greeks, The Western Way of War, and The Soul of Battle. He lives in Selma, California.
Table of Contents
List of Maps
The Wages of Suicide: Okinawa, April 1-July 2, 1945
Recipe for a Holocaust
The Laboratory of Suicide
The Military Lessons
Epilogue: The Men of Okinawa
Shilohs Ghosts, April 6-7, 1862
Morning: The Birth of Uncle Billy
Afternoon: The Myth of the Lost Opportunity
Night: The Klansman
The Culture of Delium, November 424 B.C.
Euripides and the Rotting Dead
The Faces of Delium
Beauty from the Dead
The Birth of Tactics
What Was Delium?
Epilogue: The Imprint of Battle