- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Blueprint for War

Essay by   •  November 15, 2017  •  Coursework  •  1,166 Words (5 Pages)  •  795 Views

Essay Preview: Blueprint for War

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

John Park

Professor Lloyd

Western Civilization

15 September 2017

Blueprint for War

War is a tragic story that provides a lesson and reveals the true nature of human beings. In Victor Davis Hanson’s book, A War Like No Other, Hanson emphases on the Peloponnesian War by relating it to present and past conflicts. Despite the book’s bold title, The Peloponnesian War does not reflect Hanson’s view as a war nonparallel to any other. In fact, the reason behind the title is due to the Athenian Historian and General, Thucydides who sawed this war as the biggest conflict the ancient world has ever witnessed. The bulk of Hanson’s argument, however, is that there is no conflict that serves as a better lesson The Peloponnesian War for both yesterday and today’s wars. Hanson supports his claim through a series of themed chapters. Out of the ten of subdivisions that are presented in book, fear, disease, and terror are all themes that touch the subject of modern conflicts and the status of human nature that is found in wars.

    In the modern world, world conflicts are triggered due to many complicated and materialistic reasons.  The Gulf War, for example, can be seen as a war fighting for resources where the U.S was trying to protect the oil they bought from their Saudi Allies. When it comes to the conflict between the Athenians and Spartans Thucydides records that there was a unique cause to the war. Despite all the other causes wars are known for in the modern era, Thucydides wrote that the start of the Peloponnesian War stems from Fear. After defeating the Persian Invasion with the Athenians, the Spartans saw the growth of Athenian’s economy and influence throughout the Mediterranean and worried that soon enough they wouldn’t be allowed to challenge or compete against them. In the book, Hanson compares the Athens as America (Hanson 8). Like what Athens have done to its surrounding city states, America throughout the years also have spread their democratic influence towards many nations causing many nations to react in fear.  Hanson also notes the similarity on how the United States, like the Athens, is an “all-powerful, but insecure” nation that is unaware of its reputation, that it is highly more disliked than it is respected. Furthermore, the Spartans like the US’ enemies would have feared a foreign influence that would have changed the way they lived resulting them to react violently (Hanson 9). Overall, these comparisons clearly show a parallel between the ancient and modern world and that these events enforce Hanson’s argument that there are lessons to be taken from this conflict. Furthermore, Although the start of this war was caused by emotional compulsion, the outcome and the lessons that imply is reacting to fear is human nature which Hanson introduces in the Disease chapter.

Diseases are a common factor that has a huge impact on a war and also reveals the true qualities of human nature. In Thucydides records, Athens was a city designed to host a population of a hundred thousand. However ever since the war, the city’s intake of refugees resulted in the population to double. As the war continued Thucydides recorded an unknown disease killed off thirty percent of the Athenian population which gave the Spartans a significant advantage. Hanson recalls the reason behind the disease would have been due to the Mediterranean heat, improper sanitation, overcrowding, and the stress of war. In addition, Hanson mentions how Thucydides records the true discovery of human nature.  Thucydides states war or a disease caused by a war was a “tough schoolmaster” (Hanson 86). He states that plague that swept across Athens was so brutal that it showed how close humans were to savages and that panic loomed large throughout their society. As a result, to the disease, there was anarchy which Thucydides called it as anomia (Hanson 77). People turned towards a life of crime trying to consume some kind of momentary pleasure, losing all sense of law or moral value. Over the year Athens experienced the plague, Thucydides recorded the horrors that occurred in the city walls which were looting, cannibalism, death and abandonment of infants and destruction of the country side. Overall this theme of disease can be classified a valuable and relatable lesson towards the modern world. It shows the repercussions of war can cause people to react desperately and that in any moment of panic can result in an individual lose sight of their decent morals in order to survive.



Download as:   txt (6.8 Kb)   pdf (91 Kb)   docx (10.6 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2017, 11). Blueprint for War. Retrieved 11, 2017, from

"Blueprint for War" 11 2017. 2017. 11 2017 <>.

"Blueprint for War.", 11 2017. Web. 11 2017. <>.

"Blueprint for War." 11, 2017. Accessed 11, 2017.