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Extended Audio Sample Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century, by Alistair Horne Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alistair Horne Narrator: James Adams Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

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