Victor Davis Hanson

This is a class on World War II (or the Second World War, if you prefer). It was taught by Victor Davis Hanson, a classics historian who writes extensively about the destruction of his home place in California, a vineyard that’s been in his family for four generations. Sometimes his stories sound like events that could only happen in some dystopian future. But then, California has always bragged that is is the future, so there you go.

The lecture gives me hope because it means that at least at Hillsdale College, history is still being taught. Dr Hanson teaches there in the Fall semester.

No doubt some of our readers will object to his point of view. That’s what makes history interesting, i.e., divergent points of view. I have my own disagreements, but I try not to let perfect be the enemy of good enough. And Hanson is good enough indeed.

14 thoughts on “Victor Davis Hanson

    • Hillsdale is a phenomenon that deserves wider recognition. One of the few, maybe the only, college that does not take federal aid. Thus faculty and students experience a freedom that hasn’t existed since Reagan attended Eureka College in his youth.

      Hillsdale admitted women and minorities back before it was the done thing. See it here:

      You can drill down to free online courses if you’d like.

      And here is Dr. Rahe’s latest book, on his website:

      I’ll bet Rahe and Hanson have some interesting conversations. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for any of them.

  1. You mean the vineyard that was burned in NorCal or the ones that were plowed in SoCal, sniff.

    • Do you mean Hanson’s vineyard? They raise raisin grapes, only small amounts of grapes for table wine. His farm is in Selma, in the San Joaquin Valley. I believe the forest fires are in the very ritzy areas (mostly ritzy – there was a burned-out trailer park). When he writes about his area, he complains about the huge electric bills the poor people around him have to pay because of the ruling elites on the coast who want green energy. He says the Mexican families in his hot area, where the summer temps can reach into the 100s (F), congregate at Walmart in order to survive.

  2. If you admire the writings of VDH, I highly recommend his “A War Like No Other”. Much easier to keep track of the story line than Thucydides.

  3. Hanson identifies the terrible toll on non-combatants i.e. civilians but makes light of the terror bombing of German cities and does not mention at all the slaughter visited on a defeated nation towards and beyond the end of the war. Roosevelt & Churchill were war criminals. So was Stalin of course but we knew that all along.

    I recently read a theory that Hitler was actually a Jewish double agent, that he led Germany into unwinnable wars in order to destroy the German nation. There is some merit in the theory, when you consider how many times he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Hanson’s summing up leaves a lot to be desired. Does he really applaud the genius of nuclear-armed France & UK about to fall under Islamist control? Does he really believe that the American occupation of Europe is benign? After Fukushima, does he think that Japan came out of it well?

    • It’s astonishing how far some anti-semites will go to blame the Joos. For example that they orchestrated the murder of 6 million of themselves so that they could defeat a Germany in which they felt like respected citizens.

      The only thing more astonishing is that there are people who will actually believe it.

      • Thanks. I knew this post would attract some far-fetched Jew-hatred. We let this one comment in to stand for all the others.

        The need for a scapegoat to assume the sins of the larger community has been given to the Joos by the West. And now the West is paying for said scapegoating.

    • “makes light of the terror bombing of German cities”
      I’m pretty sure you are refering to the bombardment of Dresden on February 13th and 14th 1945. That cannot be called “terror bombing” by any stretch of the imagination. Dresden was the major railway hub between the Western and Eastern part of Germany and as such had to be taken out at all cost.

      • Guernica had also a major importance in regard to traffic of the communist forces in Spain. Not to forget the Bridge.
        The german Forces are vilified for not limiting civilian casualties.

        On the other hand:
        According to the Wikipedia side about the Norden gunsight the accuracy was about 370 meters around the targetpoint.
        So the bombing impacts and explosions should be clustered around Military installations and railways.
        But they are not. The allied Forces were not keen on limiting civilian casualties either, or?

        Quod licet iovi non licet bovi.

    • “Every time I turn over a stone I find a Jew making money” — Mein Kampf.

      What would William of Ockham make of that, I wonder?

  4. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Professor Hanson provided me with a launch point from which to write my own blog essay.

    At 11:47
    “So why was it so deadly? Twenty-seven thousand people died every year day of the six years of world war two.”

    He provided a lot of numbers. I found that one slip of the tongue so jarring in a fine speech that I felt I’d correct what he’d correct had he the chance. Strike year and replace with day. That’s what you get when 60-65 million were eradicated in 6 years.

    Distressing for decent human beings, but not for today’s globalist Sustainability nuts have expressly wished for far far more.

    • Yes, I noticed that at the time but by the time I got around to posting the lecture, I forgot to mention his slip. I’ll bet he corrects it in future lectures series on the subject.

  5. An interesting side light. Hansen mentions the losses in Luftwaffe airplanes over France and (did he say Poland?), which caused limitations for the Reich later in the war (not to mention Britain). He said Czechoslovakia was destroyed (it certainly surrendered) but no mention of the fact that its air force took off on the night before the the surrender took effect. According to a Slovak general, I heard at a Czech event (refugees from the Communists) they fought “many battles” with the Luftwaffe over Poland and France. As they explained to the British when they came over during Dunkirk to offer their services, “We may not have been able to affect the outcomes in those two countries, but we sure shot down a lot of German planes”. The British welcomed them with open arms, and put them in the RAF flying spitfires during the Battle of Britain. They generally don’t get mentioned except occasionally as “the Czech pilot” in some of the romantic novels of that period. The Communists tended to eliminate those who returned to their country after the war, and one writer wondered why they included a Spitfire in their Czechoslovak air force museum after communists left. However, they apparently considered the Battle of Britain to be “their finest hour”.

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