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Victor Davis Hanson's review of Collapse - for discussion

#19: Apr. - June 2005 (Non-Fiction)
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Chris OConnor

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Victor Davis Hanson's review of Collapse - for discussion

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Please use this thread for discussing Dr. Victor Davis Hanson's review of Jared Diamond's Collapse. I've copied and pasted the entire review below.Keep in mind that we'll be having Dr. Hanson as our guest on Thursday, August 25th at 9:00 p.m. eastern. Jot down any questions and save them for the chat!April 23, 2005Decline And FallA review of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (Viking, 592 pp., $29.95).by Victor Davis HansonNational Review MagazineJared Diamond's bestselling Guns, Germs, and Steel argued that geography trumped culture, and that the current privileged position of the West was therefore mostly attributable to the advantageous resources in, and location of, Western countries, rather than to Europe's singular values. Despite the allure of such a politically correct exegesis
Megaeraa

Re: Victor Davis Hanson's book

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FWIW, Hanson's Carnage and Culture : Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power addresses the same subject as Diamond's _G,G&S_ (not _Collapse_). According to the Amazon editorial review,Quote:Many theories have been offered regarding why Western culture has spread so successfully across the world, with arguments ranging from genetics to superior technology to the creation of enlightened economic, moral, and political systems. In Carnage and Culture, military historian Victor Hanson takes all of these factors into account in making a bold, and sure to be controversial, argument: Westerners are more effective killers. Focusing specifically on military power rather than the nature of Western civilization in general, Hanson views war as the ultimate reflection of a society's character: "There is...a cultural crystallization in battle, in which the insidious and more subtle institutions that heretofore are murky and undefined became stark and unforgiving in the finality of organized killing."-- Meg
pctacitus

Re: Victor Davis Hanson's book

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I read the Hardcover version in 2001 after seeing him on BookTV, later ordered the the tape and occasionally view it. I found Carnage and Culture more convincing than GG&S. He even intellectually trounced Diamond in an appearance on NPR.www.booktv.org/History/in...segid=1715w ... Id=1132838 Doug Larson: "The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it."
Megaeraa

Re: Victor Davis Hanson's book

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Pctacitus -- From the reviews, it appears that Hanson looks at warfare almost in a vacuum, not considering all the underpinnings (such as society, resources and no doubt bunches of other factors) necessary to warfare. Is that true?-- Meg
pctacitus

Re: Victor Davis Hanson's book

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No Meg, it's not true. Doug Larson: "The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it."
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Re: Victor Davis Hanson's review of Collapse - for discussio

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Hanson presents an oversimplied straw-man view of Collapse in order to rebut it. Jared Diamond never claims that environmental and resource issues determine everything, as Hanson implies. Instead, Diamond views those issues as important but not all-incompassing.Diamond's perspective struck me as more balanced than Hanson's dismissive attitude regarding environmental factors.
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Re: Victor Davis Hanson's review of Collapse - for discussio

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JulianI hope you find time to attend the live chat session with Hanson. Chris
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Re: Victor Davis Hanson's review of Collapse - for discussio

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Julian:I agree. Much of the criticism of Diamond seems to be a watered down, single minded view of what Diamond is offering in his thesis.I wish Diamond would have accepted, but Hanson should be interesting to chat with.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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