Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century Audiobook, by Alistair Horne Play Audiobook Sample

Download Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century Audiobook

Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century Audiobook, by Alistair Horne Play Audiobook Sample
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95
$7.95 for new members!(Includes UNLIMITED podcast listening) Add to Cart learn more
Regular Price: $26.99 Add to Cart
Author: Alistair Horne Narrator: James Adams Publisher: HarperAudio Audio Length: Release Date: November 2015 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780062420831

Publisher Description


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.

Download and start listening now!


  • “Horne brings the necessary wisdom, vast knowledge of the past, and understanding of human nature to show the effects of hubris in modern warfare…A wonderful read.”

    - Margaret MacMillan, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Eminently provocative and readable.”

    - Wall Street Journal
  • “Sir Alistair makes [his case] with erudition and eloquence…This is a book that any political leader contemplating military action should read.”

    - Economist (London)
  • “Stark and compelling…Horne has a flair for wrenching detail…Rather than simply listing statistics, he makes the toll of arrogance and historical amnesia vivid through specific, harrowing stories.”

    - Boston Globe
  • “Well written, deeply researched, and persuasively argued…He rounds out the work by discussing ways that twenty-first-century leaders can work to avoid it.”

    - Publishers Weekly
  • “Students of military tactics and general readers will take pleasure in the new insights into these selected battles expressed by this knowledgeable and accessible writer.”

    - Library Journal
  • “James Adams prevails through sheer expertise. He is adept and nimble with dozens of names of generals, battle sites, and battleships. He’s never tripped up by the cosmopolitan nuances of a German-born Soviet spy operating out of Tokyo or by the glottal sloughs of the German siege of Moscow. Alistair Horne’s theme of military disaster resulting from hubris is vividly demonstrated in a series of dramatic modern defeats.”

    - AudioFile

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!

About the Author

Alistair Horne is the author of eighteen books. He is a fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. In 1993 Horne was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur and in 2003 received a knighthood for his work on the history of France.

About the Narrator

James Adams is one of the world’s leading authorities on terrorism and intelligence, and for more than twenty-five years he has specialized in national security. He is also the author of fourteen bestselling books on warfare, with a particular emphasis on covert warfare. A former managing editor of the London Sunday Times and CEO of United Press International, he trained as a journalist in England, where he graduated first in the country. Now living in Southern Oregon, he has narrated numerous audiobooks and earned an AudioFile Earphones Award and two coveted Audie Award for best narration.