Alistair Horne - Hubris - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297867630
    • Publication date:03 Sep 2015

Hubris

The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century

By Alistair Horne

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

Six battles that changed the course of the twentieth century, and the one trait that links them all: hubris.

Alistair Horne has been a close observer of war and history for more than fifty years. In this wise and masterly work, he revisits six battles that changed the course of the twentieth century and reveals the one trait that links them all: hubris. From the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 to Hitler's 1941 bid to capture Moscow, and from the disastrous American advance in Korea to the French surrender at Dien Bien Phu, Horne shows how each of these battles was won or lost due to excessive hubris on one side or the other.

A dramatic, colourful and stylishly written history, HUBRIS is an essential reflection on war from a master of his field.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781780222219
  • Publication date: 08 Sep 2016
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: W&N
The ancient Greeks used the word 'hubris' to describe.. the arrogant belief that man could challenge the gods and survive... Horne uses this sobering reflection to illuminate the history of war in the first half of the 20th century, which he does with the elegant readability and sharp insight familiar from his long career. — Richard Overy, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
The case against the awful consequences of military hubris is not hard to make. But Sir Alistair makes it with erudition and eloquence....his narrative is never dull; his judgements are informed by a weary understanding of human folly. This is a book that any political leader contemplating military action should read. — THE ECONOMIST
Alistair Horne's Hubris (Weidenfeld, £25) provides a penetrating study of six critically important battles of the second world war, each one illustrating how the sin of pride brings disaster on those who indulge in it. It is difficult to know whether to admire more the author's mastery of his subject or his literary skills. — Philip Ziegler, THE SPECTATOR, Books of the Year 2015
Horne is always readable and he has a keen eye for sometimes overlooked connections. One need not agree with Alistair Horne's choice of his analysis to welcome a thought-provoking contribution to an old historical theme. — Ian F. W. Beckett, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
I can think of no one better to tackle the daunting subject of hubris and the punishments that so often follow than Alistair Horne. He brings the necessary wisdom, vast knowledge of the past and understanding of human nature to show the effects of hubris in modern warfare. In his masterly and confident hands, we are shown how victory whether that of the Japanese navy at Tsushima in 1905 or General MacArthur's in the first stages of the Korean War leads all too commonly to complacency and then disaster. A wonderful read. — Margaret MacMillan
This is Alistair Horne's 25th book and it is filled with the insights that can come only from a lifetime of studying war. Hubris is his title and his leitmotif - more precisely, the over-confidence that so often leads to military disaster. But there is no hubris in the author himself, who approaches the challenges of writing about Oriental conflicts with a due humility, as well as his customary literary skill — Niall Ferguson
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. In military history, the word hubris is most often used to explain one of the primary flaws of American Vietnam War policymakers, but Horne looks across the 50 years that preceded that engagement ... 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 (USA)
W&N

The Book of Unexplained Mysteries

Will Pearson
Authors:
Will Pearson

W&N

The Deadly Trade

Iain Ballantyne
Authors:
Iain Ballantyne
W&N

The Woman's Hour

Elaine Weiss
Authors:
Elaine Weiss

Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible.Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Woman's Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the American Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.

W&N

Pearl Harbor

Craig Nelson
Authors:
Craig Nelson
W&N

Written in History

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore
W&N

The Mesmerist

Wendy Moore
Authors:
Wendy Moore
W&N

Trenchard: Father of the Royal Air Force

Russell Miller
Authors:
Russell Miller

'A magnetic and colourful portrait' Daily TelegraphHugh 'Boom' Trenchard was embarrassed by being described as 'The Father of the Royal Air Force' - he thought others were more deserving. But the reality was that no man did more to establish the world's first independent air force and ensure its survival in the teeth of fierce opposition from both the Admiralty and the War Office. Born in Taunton in 1873, Trenchard struggled at school, not helped by the shame of his solicitor father's bankruptcy when he was sixteen. He failed entrance examinations to both the Royal Navy and the Army several times, eventually obtaining a commission through the 'back door' of the militia. After service in India, South Africa - where he was seriously wounded - and Nigeria, he found his destiny when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912, where he was soon known as 'Boom' thanks to his stentorian voice. Quick to recognise the huge potential aircraft offered in future conflicts, he rose rapidly to command the RFC in France during the First World War despite handicaps that would have blighted conventional military careers: he was obstinate, tactless, inarticulate and chronically unable to remember names - yet he was able to inspire unflagging loyalty among all ranks. Despite his conspicuous distrust of politicians, he served as a successful Chief of the Air Staff for a decade after the war and then, at the personal request of the King, took over as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, which he reorganised and reformed. He never wavered in his belief that mastery of the air could only be achieved by relentless offensive action, or in his determined advocacy of strategic bombing. His most enduring legacy was the creation of the finest air force in the world, engendered with the spirit that won the Battle of Britain.

W&N

Where Poppies Blow

John Lewis-Stempel
Authors:
John Lewis-Stempel

Winner of the 2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for nature writingThe natural history of the Western Front during the First World War'If it weren't for the birds, what a hell it would be.'During the Great War, soldiers lived inside the ground, closer to nature than many humans had lived for centuries. Animals provided comfort and interest to fill the blank hours in the trenches - bird-watching, for instance, was probably the single most popular hobby among officers. Soldiers went fishing in flooded shell holes, shot hares in no-man's land for the pot, and planted gardens in their trenches and billets. Nature was also sometimes a curse - rats, spiders and lice abounded, and disease could be biblical.But above all, nature healed, and, despite the bullets and blood, it inspired men to endure. Where Poppies Blow is the unique story of how nature gave the British soldiers of the Great War a reason to fight, and the will to go on.

W&N

A Million Years in a Day

Greg Jenner
Authors:
Greg Jenner

'A wonderful idea, gloriously put into practice. Greg Jenner is as witty as he is knowledgeable' - Tom Holland'You will love Greg Jenner's jolly account of how we have more in common with our ancestors than we might think ... all human life is here, amusingly conveyed in intriguing nuggets of gossipy historical anecdote' - Daily MailEvery day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history - featuring new updates for the paperback edition - BBC Horrible Histories consultant Greg Jenner explores the hidden stories behind these daily routines.This is not a story of politics, wars or great events, instead Greg Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising and sometimes downright silly nuggets from our past.It is a history of all those things you always wondered - and many you have never considered. It is the story of our lives, one million years in the making.

Orion

Hunter Killers

Iain Ballantyne
Authors:
Iain Ballantyne

HUNTER KILLER: a submarine designed to pursue and attack enemy submarines and surface ships using torpedoes.HUNTER KILLERS will follow the careers of four daring British submarine captains who risked their lives to keep the rest of us safe, their exploits consigned to the shadows until now. Their experiences encompass the span of the Cold War, from voyages in WW2-era submarines under Arctic ice to nuclear-powered espionage missions in Soviet-dominated seas. There are dangerous encounters with Russian spy ships in UK waters and finally, as the communist facade begins to crack, they hold the line against the Kremlin's oceanic might, playing a leading role in bringing down the Berlin Wall. It is the first time they have spoken out about their covert lives in the submarine service.This is the dramatic untold story of Britain's most-secret service.

Orion

Maverick One

David Blakeley
Authors:
David Blakeley

The explosive sequel to the bestselling PATHFINDER.For the first time ever an elite British operator tells the gruelling story of his selection into the Pathfinders - Britain's secret soldiers. Pathfinder selection is a brutal physical and psychological trial lasting many weeks. It rivals that of the SAS and takes place over the same spine-crushing terrain, in the rain-and-snow-lashed wastes of the Welsh mountains. For two decades no one has been able to relate the extraordinary trials of British elite forces selection - until now.Captain David Blakeley goes on from completing selection to serve with the Pathfinders in Afghanistan post 9/11, where he had a gun held to his head by Al Qaeda fighters. From there he deploys to Iraq, on a series of dramatic behind-enemy-lines missions - wherein he and his tiny elite patrol are outnumbered, outgunned and trapped. MAVERICK ONE is unique and extraordinary, chronicling the making of a warrior. It culminates in Blakeley fighting back to full recovery from horrific injuries suffered whilst on operations in Iraq, to go on to face SAS selection.

W&N

The Battle of Normandy 1944

Robin Neillands
Authors:
Robin Neillands

A fresh and incisive examination of one of the Second World War's crucial campaigns, the battle for Normandy in the months after D-Day.What happened to the Allied armies in Normandy in the months after D-Day, 1944? Why, after the initial success of the landings, did their advance stall a few miles inland from the beaches? Why did the British take so long to capture Caen? Why did the US infantry struggle so much in the bocage south of Omaha beach? Who was right about the conduct of the land campaign - Eisenhower or Montgomery? How did the Germans, deprived of air support, manage to hold off such a massive Allied force for more than two months? And if Enigma was allowing the Allies to read German battleplans, why did things go wrong as often as they did?THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY re-examines the demands and difficulties of the campaign and sheds new light on both with the aid of accounts from veterans on both sides. (Oral history forms a large part of the book.) It also analyses in detail the plans and performance of the commanders involved: Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Montgomery, Crerar and, of course, Rommel. Controversial and at times catastrophic, the Battle of Normandy was the last great set-piece battle in history and is long overdue for reassessment.

W&N

The Spanish Armada

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson

A dramatic blow-by-blow account of the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English fleet - a tale of derring-do and disaster on the high seas by one of our best narrative historians.After the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, Protestant England was beset by the hostile Catholic powers of Europe - not least Spain. In October 1585 King Philip II of Spain declared his intention to destroy Protestant England and began preparing invasion plans, leading to an intense intelligence war between the two countries, culminating in the dramatic sea battles of 1588.Robert Hutchinson's tautly written book is the first to examine this battle for intelligence, and uses everything from contemporary eye-witness accounts to papers held by the national archives in Spain and the UK to recount the dramatic battle that raged up the English Channel. Contrary to popular theory, the Armada was not defeated by superior English forces - in fact, Elizabeth I's parsimony meant that her ships had no munitions left by the time the Armada had fought its way up to the south coast of England. In reality it was a combination of inclement weather and bad luck that landed the killer blow on the Spanish forces, and of the 125 Spanish ships that set sail against England, only 60 limped home - the rest sunk or wrecked with barely a shot fired.

W&N

Napoleon

Alistair Horne
Authors:
Alistair Horne

The definitve account of Napoleon's rise to power by one of our greatest historians.On June 25, 1807, Napoleon met and embraced his recent foe, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, on a raft in the middle of the River Niemen near Tilsit. This theatrical but historic occasion represented the pinnacle of Napoleon's glory. The Tsar was forced to accept an alliance dividing Europe into two spheres of influence, and Napoleon became supreme ruler of the continent of Europe west of Russia.Alistair Horne traces Napoleon's ascent to power in the years preceding this climax to his political and military career: the success of the "peace machine," the formation of the impressive Grande Armee and the abortive plan to invade England. The author examines in detail the strategic success of the Ulm-Austerlitz campaign in 1805 - "the first great battle of modern history" - in which Napoleon decisively defeated the Austro-Russian army. With the ensuing double victory of Jena-Auerstadt in 1806 and the defeat of the Prussians, Napoleon became undisputed master of Central Europe. In 1807, the Battle of Eylau, resulting in a draw - after which he admitted that his "soul was oppressed to see so many victims" - led to his crushing victory at Friedland which set the seal on the campaigns begun two years previously.

W&N

Friend or Foe

Alistair Horne
Authors:
Alistair Horne
W&N

Air America

Christopher Robbins
Authors:
Christopher Robbins

The incredible inside story of the world's most extraordinary covert operation.Air America - a secret airline run by the CIA - flew missions no one else would touch, from General Claire Cennault's legendary Flying Tigers in WW II to two brutal decades cruising over the bomb-savaged jungles of Southeast Asia. Their pilots dared all and did all - a high-rolling, fast-playing bunch of has-beens and hellraisers whose motto was 'Anything, Anywhere, Anytime'. Whether it was delivering food and weapons or spooks and opium, Air America was the one airline where you didn't need reservations - just a hell of a lot of courage and a willingness to fly to the bitter end.

W&N

Fate is the Hunter

Ernest K. Gann
Authors:
Ernest K. Gann
W&N

Low Level Hell

Hugh Mills, Robert Anderson
Authors:
Hugh Mills, Robert Anderson
W&N

1939: The Last Season

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

A wonderful portrait of British upper-class life in the Season of 1939 - the last before the Second World War.The Season of 1939 brought all those 'in Society' to London. The young debutante daughters of the upper classes were presented to the King and Queen to mark their acceptance into the new adult world of their parents. They sparkled their way through a succession of balls and parties and sporting events.The Season brought together influential people not only from Society but also from Government at the various events of the social calendar. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain chaperoned his debutante niece to weekend house parties; Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, lunched with the Headmaster of Eton; Cabinet Ministers encountered foreign Ambassadors at balls in the houses of the great hostesses. As the hot summer drew on, the newspapers filled with ever more ominous reports of the relentless progress towards war. There was nothing to do but wait - and dance. The last season of peace was nearly over.

W&N

The Real Bravo Two Zero

Michael Asher
Authors:
Michael Asher

The true story of the most famous SAS operation in history.'Bravo Two Zero' was the code-name of the famous SAS operation: a classic story of bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. BRAVO TWO ZERO by patrol commander 'Andy McNab' became an international bestseller, as did the book by 'Chris Ryan' (THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY). Both men became millionaires. Three members of the patrol were killed. One, veteran sergeant Vince Phillips, was blamed in both books for a succession of mistakes. As Michael Asher reveals, the stories in BRAVO TWO ZERO and THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY grew considerably in the telling. Their heroic tales of taking out tanks with their rocket launchers, mowing down hundreds of Iraqi soldiers, the silent stabbing of the occasional sentry, were never mentioned at their post-war debriefings... In an investigation literally in the footsteps of the patrol, Michael Asher tells the true story.