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Publisher's Summary

Sir Alistair Horne has been a close observer of war and history for more than 50 years, and in this wise and masterly work he revisits six battles of the past century and examines the strategies, leadership, preparation, and geopolitical goals of aggressors and defenders to reveal the one trait that links them all: hubris.

In Greek tragedy, hubris is excessive human pride that challenges the gods and ultimately leads to total destruction of the offender. From the 1905 Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War to Hitler's 1941 bid to capture Moscow to MacArthur's disastrous advance in Korea to the French downfall 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. In a sweeping narrative written with his trademark erudition and wit, Horne provides a meticulously detailed analysis of the ground maneuvers employed by the opposing armies in each battle. He also explores the strategic and psychological mind-sets of the military leaders involved to demonstrate how devastating combinations of human ambition and arrogance led to overreach. Making clear the danger of hubris in warfare, his insights hold resonant lessons for civilian and military leaders navigating today's complex global landscape.

A dramatic, colorful, stylishly written history, Hubris is a much-needed reflection on war from a master of his field.

©2015 Alistair Horne (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
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  • John
  • PICKERINGTON, OH, United States
  • 09-01-16

I Never Heard W ll Explained this Way!

Where does Hubris rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I very much enjoy stories of WW ll & Vietnam. This Book covers several less known wars, especially between the Japanese & Russia. But Alistair Horne also covers a more well known, but rather short,look at the Pacific War, especially the Battle of Midway. Everything covered, Hubris's is the driving force behind the instigators. Very well read, most interesting to hear. I highly recommend it to those who wonder about the price of war & the driving force of Hubris. The once again fall of the French, in Vietnam this time, should have warned all of the American leaders of what disaster lay ahead for the USA! ND John

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was the Russian General Zhukov & his handling of the little know 1939 battle with the Japanese in Manchuria, a very bloody affair! This set the stage for the Russian General's actions in the soon to come WW ll & was the main reason Japan decided not to attack Russia during the 1940's allowing Russia to send his eastern army against the German advance on Moscow! I will now look at history's great Wars to see if the parties involved studied history! I know most did not & then paid a high price.

Which character – as performed by James Adams – was your favorite?

Finally, someone (James Adams) gave a forthright reading of the King of Hubris, General McArthur!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

How Big Battles are Lost!

Any additional comments?

I loved "After a Win, Tighten Your Chin Strap"! How true!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent analysis, outstanding narration

This is the best audible audio book I have listened. Superbly written, excellent analysis of the several war episodes chosen and an absolutely outstanding narration. It doesn't get better than this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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masterful

Very fascinating and delivered with all the flair, humor and nuance of the Queen's English!

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 07-15-17

Fascinating personal vignettes, sharply etched

This is a masterwork. The characters and scenes are vivid, yet without effort, the author pulls back to constantly fit military history effortlessly with other history. This shines light and deep dimensions onto all. The narration is a perfect fit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very good read

Thoroughly enjoyed the book. The examples chosen we perfect examples and the authors writing was superb.

Also enjoyed the narration

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book. Powerful lessons for leaders.

Where does Hubris rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely in the top 10 %

Who was your favorite character and why?

- The Korean story I really enjoyed. The McArthur hubris, the defining role played by Matthew Ridgeway and the story of Truman were a high point of the book.
- I also enjoyed listening about Zhukov and his all important role in soviet victory

What does James Adams bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Narration was spectacular. Excellent inflection and solid British accent

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Korean war history and the role General Ridgway played

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended for leaders in all avenues of life. I learned and realized that - Hubris is ever present. It is the immediate result of big success, the bigger and most astonishing the larger the level of Hubris

1 of 4 people found this review helpful