The legendary historian and author of A Savage War of Peace and The Price of Glory distills a lifetime’s study to reflect on six critical battles that changed the course of the twentieth century.
Sir Alistair Horne has been a close observer of war and history for more than fifty years. In this wise and masterly work that he calls his “summa,” 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 downfall. From the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War to Hitler’s 1940 invasion of Moscow to MacArthur’s disastrous advance in Korea, 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 a devastating combination of human ambition and arrogance led to overreach. Making clear the danger of hubris in warfare, his insights are deeply relevant and hold important lessons for civilian and military leaders navigating today’s complex global landscape.
A dramatic, colorful, stylishly written history, Hubris is a brilliant and much-needed reflection on war from a master of his field. Download and start listening now!