50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Profound, witty, audaciously incorrect and well-written,
By A Customer
This review is from: An Autumn of War: What America Learned from September 11 and the War on Terrorism (Paperback)
This is a really great book--penetrates the psycho-babble and punditry that serves as analysis of the problem of radical islam. Hanson is unapologetic; he is a military historian and professor of the classics with a deep understanding of the West, and a long view of history and warfare. If you read the introduction, you will be hooked on his style, which is unpretentious--it makes you realize that much of the analysis on terrorism, even be learned and experienced people, is just wrong. More importantly, it will cost more lives in the future. He convincingly compares the dithering before the Second World War to the high-society Euro-intellectuals of the day--people (unfortunately) like Colin Powell, who, upon the U.S. attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan commented that we might strike deals with the "moderate" Taliban. This of course begs the question--What is a moderate Taliban? That's like saying a "moderate Nazi." Sometimes, the shortest route to end the bloodshed is to obliterate your foe, and that is what he calls for--reducing the specter of al qaeda and the Taliban to a realistic threat. In the process, he takes a lot of hot air out of the chattering classes, college professors and policy wonks. Still, this is not a polemic and it is well written--comparable in depth to Robert D. Kaplan, Donald Kagan or Robert Kagan--if you like them, you will like him. Because this is a series of editorials, there tends to be a little repeating, but still a well-deserved five stars.