Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History
  • Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History
  • Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History

Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History

by John David Lewis
     
 

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"John David Lewis offers a superb appraisal of how ancient and modern wars start and finish. This chronicle of some 2,500 years of Western history is replete with a philosophical analysis of why nations fight, win—and lose. His insights and conclusions are original and fearless—as well as timely and welcome in the confused war-making of the present… See more details below

Overview

"John David Lewis offers a superb appraisal of how ancient and modern wars start and finish. This chronicle of some 2,500 years of Western history is replete with a philosophical analysis of why nations fight, win—and lose. His insights and conclusions are original and fearless—as well as timely and welcome in the confused war-making of the present age."—Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture

"This book's argument is powerful and provocative, and Lewis is a good storyteller and scholar. Ambitious, stimulating, and thoughtful, this book makes a strong case for the value of the strategic offensive, and engages with the kind of problems that everyone should be thinking about today."—Barry Strauss, author of The Spartacus War

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Thanks to its recent experience of quagmires that drain into simmering truces, America has forgotten that triumph is the proper way to end a war, argues this brash study of military blowouts. Surveying six conflicts, from the Persian invasion of ancient Greece to WWII, historian Lewis (Early Greek Lawgivers) contends that lasting peace requires a shattering victory, “a display of overwhelming force” that “expose[s] the physical and ideological bankruptcy” of the losers and precipitates “an immediate collapse in [their] will to fight.” Lewis's analysis of war as a psychological struggle and “clash of moral purposes” is lucid and forceful; it's especially telling in his incisive account of Sherman's march through Georgia, and especially provocative in his defense of the atomic bombings of Japan. (“To break the Japanese leaders out of their ideological blinders... American leaders needed to kill a lot of Japanese in a visibly shocking way.”) He's less cogent when he tries to distill profound moral purposes from the murk of the Second Punic War or Roman emperor Aurelian's squabble with Queen Zenobia of Palmyra. Lewis's tight yoking of military success with moral superiority sometimes veers close to the notion that might makes right. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Lewis' analysis of war as a psychological struggle and 'clash of moral purposes' is lucid and forceful; it's especially telling in his incisive account of Sherman's march through Georgia, and especially provocative in his defense of the atomic bombings of Japan."Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691135182
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/14/2010
Pages:
354
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Barry Strauss
This book's argument is powerful and provocative, and Lewis is a good storyteller and scholar. Ambitious, stimulating, and thoughtful, this book makes a strong case for the value of the strategic offensive, and engages with the kind of problems that everyone should be thinking about today.
Barry Strauss, author of "The Spartacus War"
Victor Davis Hanson
John David Lewis offers a superb appraisal of how ancient and modern wars start and finish. This chronicle of some 2,500 years of Western history is replete with a philosophical analysis of why nations fight, win—and lose. His insights and conclusions are original and fearless—as well as timely and welcome in the confused war-making of the present age.
Victor Davis Hanson, author of "Carnage and Culture"

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