I’ve Been Reading Too Many Blogs

In General by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

Why does so much of what I read on the Internet read something like this? Game on! Push came to shove but the other guy doubled down. No matter: they brought knives but we brought guns. What else could we do? We were roiling with conflicting emotions. Now, skeptics may scoff, but the real story here is the back story. …

Barry StraussI’ve Been Reading Too Many Blogs

Great Moments in Fighting Back

In General by Barry Strauss4 Comments

“Federal prosecutors are expected on Monday to request a judge’s permission to obtain DNA from Mr. Abdulmutallab [the alleged terrorist on Flight 253] to compare with DNA found on remains of the device taken from the aircraft.” –Wall Street Journal, Monday, December 28, 2009 Let’s not copy the Greeks’ and Romans’ brutality, but acts of war require a tougher response …

Barry StraussGreat Moments in Fighting Back


In General by Barry Strauss14 Comments

Friday night, December 11, marks the start of the eight days of Chanukah, an annual Jewish holiday. But it also lays claim as the start of western civilization. Not Jewish civilization, which was already old at the time of the first Chanukah in 167 B.C., and not Hellenic (ancient Greek) civilization, which was also ancient. But the encounter of the …

Barry StraussChanukah

Lend Me Your Ears

In General by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

December 7 is a day that will live in infamy, but not only because of Pearl Harbor. Two thousand years before Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, another event in American history took place: the murder of Marcus Tullius Cicero. American history? Although Cicero was Roman, he had a unique influence on the minds of America’s Founders. We …

Barry StraussLend Me Your Ears

Big is Beautiful

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My love song to large lecture courses has just been posted on Minding the Campus, http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2009/12/big_is_beautiful.html.

Barry StraussBig is Beautiful

Alexander and Afghanistan

In General by Barry Strauss8 Comments

We fight wars with men – and with ghosts. When it comes to haunted battlefields, Afghanistan is second to none. The specters stretch backwards from the Soviets, who failed in Afghanistan in the 1970s, to the British who suffered there in the nineteenth century, and all the way to Alexander the Great, who conquered Afghanistan long ago but at a …

Barry StraussAlexander and Afghanistan

Napoleon Palin

In General by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

A little over two hundred years ago this season, Napoleon became famous. He grabbed a French flag, strode onto a bridge over the Adige River in northern Italy, and led his men in an attack on the Austrian army on the other side. As the French advanced, enemy guns took out soldiers on either side. With the luck of greatness, …

Barry StraussNapoleon Palin

A Wartime Thanksgiving

In General by Barry Strauss1 Comment

In most of America nowadays, Thanksgiving is a day of family, food, football and a foretaste of four weeks of shopping. But in some American homes, the holiday retains its religious character: it is a day to give thanks to God for His blessings. And in a special, few American households that have men or women at war, Thanksgiving is …

Barry StraussA Wartime Thanksgiving

Veterans Day

In General by Barry Strauss2 Comments

Soldiers suffer stress. That story, as old as Homer, has resurfaced after last week’s massacre at Fort Hood. An American soldier shot and killed other American soldiers. Perhaps the shooter was a victim who snapped under stress, as some now claim, or perhaps he was a terrorist whose warning statements the Army ignored. Investigators are currently working to cover people’s …

Barry StraussVeterans Day

From Troy to Afghanistan

In Troy by Barry Strauss2 Comments

This week I revisited the Trojan War: I gave the John C. Rouman Classical Lecture at the University of New Hampshire. Although I’ve told that story before, it’s been a year or two, and I couldn’t help but feel how fresh it is. “The past is a foreign country,” as the saying goes – or is it? A long war, …

Barry StraussFrom Troy to Afghanistan