Short Take: Hubris – Alistair Horne

Horne is a historian’s historian. His editor calls this book the capstone to Horne’s distinguished career, noting that it has “all his trademark qualities — wonderful writing, exciting narration, colorful and incisive pen portraits of the great commanders, and a wry and eloquent perspective on the long sweep of history.” Using six major battles of the 20th century to illustrate his point, Horne argues that “hubris”—an excessive pride or arrogance – blinded to loser to their critical missteps. Horne’s insights offer valuable lessons for future conflict in an increasingly complex political landscape.

“In this well written, deeply researched, and persuasively argued book, Horne, the venerable British military historian, looks at six critical battles of the 20th century, focusing on what he argues is a constant that links all of them: the hubristic arrogance exhibited by those on the losing end….Horne convincingly argues that “infection by hubris” is alive and well today, and he rounds out the work by discussing ways that 21st-century leaders can work to avoid it.”
Publishers Weekly

Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century (9780062397805) by Alistair Horne. $28.99 hardcover. 11/17/15 on sale.

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