Maureen Dowd is chuffed this morning at what you might call “The Thucydides Boys”—Victor David Hanson, Harvey Mansfield, the brothers Kagan, and others of that ilk who try to justify carnage with vague reference to the Greek classics (link $).
I have news for Maureen: Thucydides is not their boy. Granted, they can find an almost illimitable number of references to human awfulness in his great History of the Pelopennesian War. But his whole point is that these instances are, well, awful. The story arc is how a great nation destroyed its own soul through the arrogant abuse of power. The Greeks, as
When I first started reading this sort of stuff from Hanson and his ilk, my impulse was to say—this guy cannot possibly have read Thucydides. I concede that this is a stretch: this assortment of professors and sons-of-professors may indeed have actually read Thucydides. They may be assuming that we have not read Thucydides.
Or they may rather fall into that class of delinquents in (is it Clockwork