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10 Books Victor Davis Hanson Recommends to Understand the War in Syria

Should America intervene after Assad's use of chemical weapons? These titles may help you make up your mind.

Dave Swindle


September 3, 2013 - 10:30 am

Is Assad laughing at American leaders’ ignorance of history and war? His 11 year old certainly is in a post on Facebook, daring Obama to attack Syria.

Click here to visit the Freedom Academy Book Club for the Recommendations.

On August 13 I named PJ Media’s columnist Victor Davis Hanson as one of my foundational influences on both foreign policy and culture. The headline stated bluntly why one should consider Hanson’s contributions at PJ Media and National Review and especially his many books of military and classical historyThe Price We Pay for Our Ignorance of Military History Is Dead Americans.  I cited from this excerpt from page 12 of The Father of Us All: War and History Ancient and Modern, explaining a key reason why both our political leaders and the public at large remain so confused about how to respond to the potential of war in Syria:


Did the two people making the decisions about Syria — Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett — ever take a single course in military history? Have they read a single book about the origins of the Syrian conflict? Or is their UN ambassador Samantha Power’s foreign policy manifesto A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide their all-purpose guide?

To learn more of the history behind this conflict and weigh potential U.S. involvement, check out these three titles Hanson recommends:

Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East  by Robert G. Rabil

syria and war on terror

The Truth about Syria by Barry Rubin


The Syrian Rebellion by Fouad Ajami


Click here to visit the Freedom Academy Book Club for *7 more new recommendations from Hanson.


* VDH added another title to his list.

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.

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