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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Speaking of Liars...

I was just watching Garrett Fagan of Penn St. blow up Victor Davis Hanson's "scholarly work" on the Battle of Salamis. Hanson claims that the Greek navy's discussion of tactics before the battle was a key to their victory over the Persians, and shows how the "Western value" of open discussion is militarily superior to the easterners autocracy. But Fagan points out that the single source we have for the discussion, Herodotus, describes it as not a discussion of tactics but only one over whether to fight or not, and that the Greeks were tricked into fighting!

In other words, once again, Hanson has been caught just making up history to suit his current foreign policy recommendations.

2 comments:

  1. I think Fagan uses Hanson as a straw man in his rebuttal. I just finished an audio lecture by him about warfare in the ancient world. Fagan admits that there is a western way of war and that western culture informs it. That was Hanson's thesis! I very much enjoyed the lecture series and think Fagan is a man to learn from. I do think that he overcommitts (sp) in pursuit of Hanson. Hanson is largely misunderstood by both his supporters and critics. I don't recall him actually stating "cultural supririority"(sp?) of the west. He observes that the western way of war appears to be more effective in warmaking. He offers contrafactual scenarios like everybody else...I hope that minds will open once again and we can start listening to each other...isn't preaching to the choir getting a bit old?

    Bring the flame! I choose the garden over the fire! ;)

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