Victor Davis Hanson Biography & Facts
Victor Davis Hanson (born September 5, 1953) is an American conservative commentator, classicist, and military historian. He has been a commentator on modern and ancient warfare and contemporary politics for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Washington Times, and other media outlets.
He is a professor emeritus of Classics at California State University, Fresno, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and visiting professor at Hillsdale College. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and was a presidential appointee in 2007–2008 on the American Battle Monuments Commission.
Early life, education and today
Hanson, a Protestant who is of Swedish and Welsh descent, grew up on his grandfather's raisin farm outside Selma, California in the San Joaquin Valley, and has worked there most of his life. His mother, Pauline Davis Hanson, was a lawyer and a California superior court and state appeals court justice, his father was a farmer, educator and junior college administrator. Along with his older brother Nels Hanson, a writer, and fraternal twin Alfred Hanson, a farmer and biologist, Hanson attended public schools and graduated from Selma High School. Hanson received his B.A. with highest honors in classics and general college honors, Cowell College, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1975 and his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University in 1980. He won the Raphael Demos scholarship at the College Year in Athens (1973–74) and was a regular member of the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, 1978–79.
His academic career ran from 1985, when he was hired at California State University, Fresno to launch a classical studies program, to 2004, when he took early retirement in order to focus on his political writing and popular history. In 1991, Hanson was awarded American Philological Association's Excellence in Teaching Award, given annually to the nation's top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. He was named distinguished alumnus of the year for 2006 at University of California, Santa Cruz. He has been a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University in California (1991–92), a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), awarded an Alexander Onassis traveling fellowship to Greece (1999), as well as Nimitz Fellow at University of California, Berkeley (2006) and held the visiting Shifrin Chair of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002–03).
After taking early retirement from CSU Fresno in 2004, Hanson has held a series of positions in ideologically-oriented institutions and private foundations. He was appointed Fellow in California Studies at the Claremont Institute, a conservative think-tank in California, in 2002. Hanson was appointed Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, another conservative think-tank in California. He was often the William Simon visiting professor at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, a private Christian institution in California (2009–15), and was awarded in 2015 an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the graduate school at Pepperdine. He gave the Wriston Lecture in 2004 for the Manhattan Institute whose mission is to 'develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility'. He has been a board member of the Bradley Foundation since 2015, and served on the HF Guggenheim Foundation board for over a decade.Since 2004, Hanson has written a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content Agency, as well as a weekly column for National Review Online since 2001, and has not missed a weekly column for either venue since he began. He has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, The Daily Telegraph, American Heritage, and The New Criterion, among other publications. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) by President George W. Bush, as well as the Eric Breindel Prize for opinion journalism (2002), and the William F. Buckley Prize (2015). Hanson was awarded the Claremont Institute's Statesmanship Award at its annual Churchill Dinner, and the Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in 2008.
Hanson's Warfare and Agriculture (Giardini 1983), his PhD thesis, argued that Greek warfare could not be understood apart from agrarian life in general, and suggested that the modern assumption that agriculture was irrevocably harmed during classical wars was vastly overestimated. The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf 1989), for which John Keegan wrote the introduction, explored the combatants' experiences of ancient Greek battle and detailed the Hellenic foundations of later Western military practice.
The Other Greeks (The Free Press 1995) argued that the emergence of a unique middling agrarian class explains the ascendance of the Greek city-state, and its singular values of consensual government, sanctity of private property, civic militarism and individualism. In Fields Without Dreams (The Free Press 1996, winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award) and The Land Was Everything (The Free Press 2000, a Los Angeles Times notable book of the year), Hanson lamented the decline of family farming and rural communities, and the loss of agrarian voices in American democracy. The Soul of Battle (The Free Press 1999) traced the careers of Epaminondas, the Theban liberator, William Tecumseh Sherman, and George S. Patton, in arguing that democratic warfare's strengths are best illustrated in short, intense and spirited marches to promote consensual rule, but bog down otherwise during long occupations or more conventional static battle.
In Mexifornia (Encounter 2003)—a personal memoir about growing up in rural California and an account of immigration from Mexico—Hanson predicted that illegal immigration would soon reach crisis proportions, unless legal, measured, and diverse immigration was restored, as well as the traditional melting-pot values of integration, assimilation, and intermarriage.Ripples of Battle (Doubleday 2003) chronicled how the cauldron of battle affects combatants' later literary and artistic work, as its larger influence ripples for generations, affecting art, literature, culture, and government. In A War Like No Other (Random House 2005, a New York Times notable book of the year), a history of the Peloponnesian War, Hanson offered an alternative history, arranged by methods of fighting—triremes, hoplites, cavalry, sieges, etc.—in concluding that the conflict marked a brutal watershed event for the Greek city-states. The Savior Generals (Bloomsbury 2013) followed the careers of five great generals (Themistocles, Sherman, Ridgway, de Gaulle, Petraeus) arguing that rare qualities in lea.... Discover the Victor Davis Hanson popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Victor Davis Hanson books.