Why did I love this book?
Victor Davis Hanson, a PhD classics professor and historian, puts forth a fascinating account of three military leaders who brought an end to powers who held people in bondage. Which three?
Epaminondas broke the power of Sparta by freeing the Helots. The Spartans held the Helots in slavery to do all the farming so they could focus on military training. Epaminondas not only defeated the Spartans in battle, but he also brought an end to the slavery that empowered them.
William Tecumseh Sherman, in his famous march to the sea, broke the Confederacy. When all seemed lost for Lincoln, word came like a thunderbolt from Sherman that, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.” Shermans Army of the West proved that the South could be defeated. This bringing an end to slavery.
George Patton, “…you will continue your victorious course to end that tyranny…” Hanson speculates that the war could have been over in the fall of 1944 if Patton had been allowed to continue into Germany. Hundreds of thousands could have been saved from the gas chambers.
Hanson expertly covers these three fascinating leaders from different time periods. All tactical geniuses that brought innovation to the battlefield. But what made them unique was that it was not only victory that they brought, but freedom to oppressed peoples.