In what seems to be a new age of populism, what does history tell us about elites and the will of the masses? Public intellectual and renowned military historian Victor Davis Hanson addressed these issues in his talk, “Populist Revolt: Everything Old is New Again,” April 23 at 5:15 pm in Cornell’s Bio-Tech Building, G10. The lecture was sponsored by the Freedom and Free Societies program at Cornell University and is free and open to the public.
“Victor Hanson is one of our leading classicists and military historians as well as one of today’s most engaging public intellectuals. He writes and speaks with passion and verve on the great issues of the day, from populism and immigration to war and peace,” said Barry Strauss, director of Freedom and Free Societies and Bryce & Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies. “As a farmer as well as an academic, he brings real-life perspective to elite preoccupations. From his pioneering scholarship on ancient infantrymen to his columns on populism, Hanson focuses on the experience of ordinary people.”
Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, has authored and edited twenty-four books on Greek, agrarian and military history, as well as contemporary culture. His works include “Carnage and Culture,” “Mexifornia: A State of Becoming” and “The Decline and Fall of California: From Decadence to Destruction.”
After receiving a BA in classics at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1975, Hanson was a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens and then received his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University in 1980. He has contributed essays to The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune and other publications and been interviewed on National Public Radio, PBS, and C-Span. He is a columnist for the National Review Online and serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly and City Journal.
The Freedom and Free Societies program in the College of Arts and Sciences aims to enhance understanding and appreciation for constitutional liberty, by stimulating inquiry into the nature and meaning of freedom. According to Strauss, the program regards the freedom of individuals as the bedrock upon which solutions to thorny problems can be built and believes that individual freedom flourishes best in the framework of institutions while constitutional democracy, limited government, and a strong sense of citizenship are essential.