The Corner

Vdh On Rorke’s Drift

Victor Davis Hanson provides a riveting and analytically powerful

account of the battle at Rorke’s Drift in his book, Carnage and Culture.

I have recommended this book highly before, and welcome another

opportunity to urge Corner readers to buy and read it. His new book,

Ripples of Battle, a sequel of sorts to Carnage and Culture, is

excellent and moving as well, though somewhat less intellectually


In Culture and Carnage VDH explains how the West has prospered

in large part because of its capacity for efficiently killing great

numbers of its enemies, and he credits the individualistic culture of

the West not only for its superior technology but also for its superior

tactics. The thesis of Ripples of Battle is that the three

battles discussed there–Okinawa, Shiloh & Delium–”still determine how

we fight, how we live, and how we think.” I must say that his vivid

account in Ripples of Okinawa, where his namesake uncle Victor

Hanson was killed, was amazing. I was surprised how little I knew of

that battle given that, as a baby boomer, I was raised on WWII



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