Georgetown Peabody Library

Hubris, the tragedy of war in the twentieth century, Alistair Horne

Sir Alistair Horne has been a close observer of war and history for more than fifty years. In this wise and masterly work, he revisits six battles that changed the course of the twentieth century 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 the total destruction of the offender. From the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, to Hitler's 1941 bid to capture Moscow, to MacArthur's disastrous advance in Korea, to the French surrender 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, and examines the strategies, leadership, preparation, and geopolitical goals of aggressors and defenders to show 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. This dramatic, stylishly written history is a much-needed reflection on war from a master of his field.--Adapted from book jacket
Table Of Contents
Part I: Tsushima, 1905. The new century ; Port Arthur ; Into Manchuria ; Odyssey, followed by Iliad ; The battle at sea ; Peace -- Part II: Nomonhan, 1939. Japan goes sour ; Zhukov, Sorge, Tsuji ; The incident -- Part III: Moscow, 1941. General Summer ; General Winter -- Part IV: Midway, 1942. The Kido Butai -- Fortune tilts -- Part V: Korea and Dien Bien Phu, 1950-1954. The American Caesar ; Echoes of Verdun
Literary Form
non fiction
First edition.
"Originally published in Great Britain in 2015 in a different form by Weidenfeld & Nicolson"--Title page verso
Physical Description
xii, 382 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates, illustrations, map, 24 cm.

Library Locations

  • Georgetown Peabody Library

    2 Maple Street, Georgetown, MA, 01833, US