The Savior Generals

The Savior Generals

How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost, From Ancient Greece to Iraq

Book - 2013
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Leading military historian Victor Davis Hanson returns to non-fiction in The Savior Generals , a set of brilliantly executed pocket biographies of five generals 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, created by others, often unpopular with politics and the public. These savior generals often come from outside the established power structure, employ radical strategies, and flame out quickly. Their careers often end in controversy. But their dramatic feats of leadership are vital slices of history--not merely as stirring military narrative, but as lessons onthe dynamic nature of consensus, leadership, and destiny.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781608191635
160819163X
Branch Call Number: History 355.009 HAN

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1aa
Jun 11, 2018

This was a rewarding book to read: many saviors are not always flashy or glorious - indeed they usually aren't, but they are efficacious. I was most surprised to learn about Ridgeway, including the fact that he had a heart attack in his early fifties and lived into his late nineties! Perhaps the oddest inclusion is that of Petraeus: its rather to close in time to be in a history book, and he didn't exactly "save " western civilization (from what? from who?). I thought that the early chapters on ancient warfare the best. The chapter on the USA civil war presupposed knowledge in the reader.

r
rkutner1
Sep 02, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, having heard very little of Epaminondas and knowing almost nothing of the details of Sherman's March to the Sea. The similiarities across 2000 yrs are striking, and VDH extends same to Petraeus's victory in Iraq, which was frittered away by the premature troop withdrawal of 2011. A must read for anyone who wants historical perspective on our recent and current wars.

LRS1969 Sep 30, 2014

Uh, dude... we lost the one in Iraq!

Some of Hanson's work is very controversial.

This book is simply horrible!

Very good on historical accounts, but dies in current affairs.

Like every other militant conservative Hanson has a Petraeus bromance. Yet Petraeus, while personally intelligent, in fact was not militarily brilliant nor particularly savvy... though he indeed was one of the Perfumed Princes who believes absolutely in the Three Ps: Power, Perks, and Privileges!

EVERYTHING that Petraeus did in his military and post military life has had one and only one agenda - to do what is right for Petraeus and his personal benefit. Entitlement is an expectation of his (which he got even in "the end"... a deal that converts multiple severe felonies demanding decades of imprisonment down to one misdemeanor that carries no jail time and allows him to maintain his oligarchic and highly wealthy post treasonous career!).

So much for his oft repeated claims of innocence. And this is the deal if the century. He should have been prosecuted for every count and once convicted, sentenced to life without parole in Leavenworth!

"Petraeus Takes Plea Deal"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/us/petraeus-plea-deal-over-giving-classified-data-to-lover.html

beebee40 Jul 31, 2014

Hanson has cobbled together bits and pieces and lo! a book.

Not to mention the possibility that he has chosen some generals that were not quite saviors.

This book is not one of his best.

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