The Savior Generals by Victor Davis Hanson
How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost-From Ancient Greece to Iraq

82%

5 Critic Reviews

At times, some sloppy errors in the text slightly detract from the credibility of the arguments, but none prove so egregious as to weaken to overall value of the book.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Prominent military historian Victor Davis Hanson explores the nature of leadership with his usual depth and vivid prose in The Savior Generals, a set of brilliantly executed pocket biographies of five generals (Themistocles, Belisarius, William Tecumseh Sherman, Matthew Ridgway, and David Petraeus) 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, one created by others and frequently unpopular politically and with the public. The savior generals often come from outside the established power structure, employ radical strategies, and flame out quickly. Their careers regularly end in controversy. But their dramatic feats of leadership are vital slices of history-not merely as stirring military narrative, but as lessons on the dynamic nature of consensus, leadership, and destiny.
 

About Victor Davis Hanson

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Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services
 
Published May 14, 2013 by Bloomsbury Press. 321 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Savior Generals
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Mar 03 2013

A highly selective chronicle of elaborate eleventh-hour heroics by unconventional thinkers and men of action.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Mar 25 2013

Hanson accurately describes these men as a “rare breed” of “mavericks and loners.” From Athens to Iraq, they seized their moments and reshaped history.

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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by Mark Moyar on May 23 2013

Mr. Hanson's fluency with a broad range of historical epochs, which has made him one of his generation's most notable historians, is on full display in "The Savior Generals."

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Frederick H. Black Jr. on May 14 2013

At times, some sloppy errors in the text slightly detract from the credibility of the arguments, but none prove so egregious as to weaken to overall value of the book.

Read Full Review of The Savior Generals: How Five... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Deseret News

Good
Reviewed by Cody Carlson on Jun 02 2013

Hanson's penetrating insights into each of the generals and the wars they fought will both astound and educate and leave the reader with a deep appreciation for the manifold difficulties of command in any era.

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Reader Rating for The Savior Generals
83%

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