Hubris EBOOK Tooltip The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century

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Auteur: Alistair Horne
Uitgever: Harper
  • Engels
  • 9780062397829
  • november 2015
  • E-book
  • 400 pagina's
  • Adobe ePub
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Alistair Horne

One of Britain’s greatest historians, Sir Alistair Horne, CBE, is the author of several famous books on French history as well as a two-volume life of Harold Macmillan.



Sir Alistair Horne has been a close observer of war and history for more than fifty years and in this wise and masterly work, he revisits six battles of the past century and examines the strategies, leadership, preparation, and geopolitical goals of aggressors and defenders to reveal the one trait that links them all: hubris.

In Greek tragedy, hubris is excessive human pride that challenges the gods and ultimately leads to total destruction of the offender. From the 1905 Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, to Hitler's 1941 bid to capture Moscow, to MacArthur's disastrous advance in Korea, to the French downfall at Dien Bien Phu, Horne shows how each of these battles was won or lost due to excessive hubris on one side or the other. In a sweeping narrative written with his trademark erudition and wit, Horne provides a meticulously detailed analysis of the ground maneuvers employed by the opposing armies in each battle. He also explores the strategic and psychological mindset of the military leaders involved to demonstrate how devastating combinations of human ambition and arrogance led to overreach. Making clear the danger of hubris in warfare, his insights hold resonant lessons for civilian and military leaders navigating today's complex global landscape.

A dramatic, colorful, stylishly-written history, Hubris is a much-needed reflection on war from a master of his field.


The ancient Greeks used the word 'hubris' to describe. the arrogant belief that man could challenge the gods and survive... Horne uses this sobering reflection to illuminate the history of war in the first half of the 20th century, which he does with the elegant readability and sharp insight familiar from his long career. -- Richard Overy SUNDAY TELEGRAPH The case against the awful consequences of military hubris is not hard to make. But Sir Alistair makes it with erudition and eloquence...his narrative is never dull; his judgements are informed by a weary understanding of human folly. This is a book that any political leader contemplating military action should read. THE ECONOMIST Alistair Horne's Hubris (Weidenfeld, GBP25) provides a penetrating study of six critically important battles of the second world war, each one illustrating how the sin of pride brings disaster on those who indulge in it. It is difficult to know whether to admire more the author's mastery of his subject or his literary skills. -- Philip Ziegler THE SPECTATOR, Books of the Year 2015 Horne is always readable and he has a keen eye for sometimes overlooked connections. One need not agree with Alistair Horne's choice of his analysis to welcome a thought-provoking contribution to an old historical theme. -- Ian F. W. Beckett TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT I can think of no one better to tackle the daunting subject of hubris and the punishments that so often follow than Alistair Horne. He brings the necessary wisdom, vast knowledge of the past and understanding of human nature to show the effects of hubris in modern warfare. In his masterly and confident hands, we are shown how victory whether that of the Japanese navy at Tsushima in 1905 or General MacArthur's in the first stages of the Korean War leads all too commonly to complacency and then disaster. A wonderful read. -- Margaret MacMillan This is Alistair Horne's 25th book and it is filled with the insights that can come only from a lifetime of studying war. Hubris is his title and his leitmotif - more precisely, the over-confidence that so often leads to military disaster. But there is no hubris in the author himself, who approaches the challenges of writing about Oriental conflicts with a due humility, as well as his customary literary skill -- Niall Ferguson In this well written, deeply researched, and persuasively argued book, Horne, the venerable British military historian, looks at six critical battles of the 20th century, focusing on what he argues is a constant that links all of them: the hubristic arrogance exhibited by those on the losing end. In military history, the word hubris is most often used to explain one of the primary flaws of American Vietnam War policymakers, but Horne looks across the 50 years that preceded that engagement ... Horne convincingly argues that infection by hubris is alive and well today, and he rounds out the work by discussing ways that 21st-century leaders can work to avoid it PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (USA) the book is a dramatic, colourful and stylishly written history. A very enjoyable and enjoyable volume. WARSHIP WORLD

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23,6 x 16 x 3,2 cm
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400 pagina's
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Alistair Horne

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