The Greatest Wars

It’s relatively rare to put out a Ricochet Podcast with only one guest, but when that guest is Victor Davis Hanson, well that’s all you need. First, we do a deep dive on Victor’s new must-read book The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Wona definitive history of WWII. Then, a bit of talk about current events, including North Korea. Go get your thinking cap out of storage — you’ll need it for this show. 

Music from this week’s episode: It’s Been A Long Long Time – Bing Crosby with Les Paul

Closing song chosen by @EJHill

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There are 33 comments.

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  1. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    There you have it. Photographic proof that Peter’s a Nazi. Thanks EJ.

    • #1
    • October 19, 2017, at 1:12 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Arahant Member

    Nice musical selection at the end.

    • #2
    • October 19, 2017, at 2:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Blue Yeti Admin

    P.S. The photo of James’ dog that Peter refers to is here.

    • #3
    • October 19, 2017, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Mitch Inactive

    No James, we need segues.

    • #4
    • October 19, 2017, at 5:13 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Heisenberg Member
    HeisenbergJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I can’t get any of the Superfeed podcasts to download through iTunes today. Is anyone else having this problem, or just me?

    • #5
    • October 19, 2017, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Stephen Dawson Inactive

    Me too. The last one to come through was Michael in the Morning.

    • #6
    • October 19, 2017, at 6:20 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Heisenberg Member
    HeisenbergJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stephen Dawson (View Comment):
    Me too. The last one to come through was Michael in the Morning.

    Ok it’s not just me then, that’s good I suppose. I tried to go to the page in the iTunes Store and re-subscribe, and that one you mentioned is the most recent available -nothing from this afternoon.

    • #7
    • October 19, 2017, at 6:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Stephen Dawson Inactive

    Give it another go. It has just started working for me.

    • #8
    • October 19, 2017, at 7:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Heisenberg Member
    HeisenbergJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Success! Thanks.

    • #9
    • October 19, 2017, at 7:08 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. James Lileks Contributor

    Here is the picture so you don’t have to go to my site. Although you should go to my site.

    • #10
    • October 19, 2017, at 8:38 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant: Nice musical selection at the end.

    A big hit in 1945 for Bing and some kid named Les Paul who invented something he called “the log,” the world’s first electric guitar. It encapsulated the moment of everyone finally getting home after the horrors of war.

    When you see memorials to wars, it is not to glorify them. Those pieces of bronze and marble and concrete are about fathers and grandfathers who experienced things with but one motivation, that their children should never need to do and see the same.

    • #11
    • October 19, 2017, at 10:38 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    James did you guys get another pooch?

    • #12
    • October 20, 2017, at 2:43 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    ‘I can’t touch your Jolson’ —. as the starlet said to Harvey.

    Sorry, I can’t help myself.

    • #13
    • October 20, 2017, at 4:28 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mitch (View Comment):
    No James, we need segues.

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, so I don’t know the context of this, but I’ll go out on a limb and say no, we don’t.

    They were cute for a while. But the problem is they distract – James now can’t speak on the podcast without the listener trying to figure out how he’s going to turn it into an ad, instead of paying attention to his point. It has become a disservice to his participation in the conversation.

    • #14
    • October 20, 2017, at 4:56 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Bishop Wash Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Mitch (View Comment):
    No James, we need segues.

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, so I don’t know the context of this, but I’ll go out on a limb and say no, we don’t.

    They were cute for a while. But the problem is they distract – James now can’t speak on the podcast without the listener trying to figure out how he’s going to turn it into an ad, instead of paying attention to his point. It has become a disservice to his participation in the conversation.

    If they want to get away from segues, James could take a lesson from John on the last GLoP podcast. As Rob was starting to make a second point, John stepped on the point and started a commercial. The antithesis of a Lileks segue. It was like stomping on the brakes and slamming the car into reverse. Not a smooth transition.

    • #15
    • October 20, 2017, at 9:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. James Lileks Contributor

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):

    James did you guys get another pooch?

    Yes! Birch, a little lab mix. Little so far, anyway.

    • #16
    • October 20, 2017, at 9:33 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Mitch (View Comment):
    No James, we need segues.

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, so I don’t know the context of this, but I’ll go out on a limb and say no, we don’t.

    They were cute for a while. But the problem is they distract – James now can’t speak on the podcast without the listener trying to figure out how he’s going to turn it into an ad, instead of paying attention to his point. It has become a disservice to his participation in the conversation.

    If they want to get away from segues, James could take a lesson from John on the last GLoP podcast. As Rob was starting to make a second point, John stepped on the point and started a commercial. The antithesis of a Lileks segue. It was like stomping on the brakes and slamming the car into reverse. Not a smooth transition.

    Yeah, that was particularly obnoxious because Rob tried to wave him off and keep going. But John was the equivalent of stomping on the breaks, throwing it into reverse, steering into oncoming traffic, and tossing a lit flare into the gas tank.

    • #17
    • October 20, 2017, at 9:42 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Blue Yeti Admin

    Mitch (View Comment):
    No James, we need segues.

    Change is good.

    • #18
    • October 20, 2017, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. James Golden Inactive

    But can James Lileks help himself with segues? Even in this podcast, there was a short and effective segue by Lileks referring to dropping bombs before the “bombfell” ad.

    I love James Lileks (platonically, I promise) and wish he was able to talk more about substantive matters; and, to be completely blunt about it, get more respect from the other participants in the podcasts.* Is there any way we can have our cake and eat it too?

    * Don’t worry, I like all of the guys on these, and thought Peter Robinson was outstanding on yesterday’s podcast.

    • #19
    • October 20, 2017, at 12:22 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Texmoor Coolidge

    I find that the segues make the ads worth listening to instead of just wanting to fast forward through the podcast. I guess if I’m going to have to listen to an ad, at least make it somewhat entertaining so I’ll stick through it.

    I also agree that James should be allowed to speak more. It does feel like he gets pigeonholed during the podcasts.

    • #20
    • October 20, 2017, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Douglas LeBlanc Member

    I had not asked for a segue-free episode, but now that I’ve heard one, I favor that model.

    I loved the heartfelt endorsement that Mr. Lileks weaved into the Ring ad in the latter moments of the show.

    • #21
    • October 20, 2017, at 12:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Blue Yeti Admin

    Texmoor (View Comment):
    I also agree that James should be allowed to speak more. It does feel like he gets pigeonholed during the podcasts.

    No one is is dis-allowing him to speak. Sometimes, when we have three hosts and a guest on the line, it gets a little crowded, but there are no rules about how much anyone can or cannot speak.

    • #22
    • October 20, 2017, at 1:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Richard Easton Member

    I’m reading Ernst Hanfstaengl’s fascinating book about his experiences with Hitler. He tried without success to tell Hitler about the power of the US. The transition from June, 1940 to December, 1941 showed that Hitler had no geopolitical sense (fortunately). To go from having one strong opponent to having two strong and one hyperpower opponents requires a special kind of stupidity.

    • #23
    • October 21, 2017, at 9:57 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    It was arrogance. I highly recommend David Stahels books on Barborossa to begin to understand not just Hitlers but all his generals arrogance and complete inability to understand reality.

    Much like the Democrats they lived in a fantasy world.

    • #24
    • October 21, 2017, at 12:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Henry Racette Contributor

    Terrific guest! I downloaded The Second World Wars from Amazon while I listened. (Welcome to the future.)

    The comments regarding our atomic bombing of Japan and the modern re-interpretation of it make me think that, like it or not, there’s always a context — and that, if we don’t know what it is, we’ll create our own with whatever we’re predisposed to imagine. I think we see that every day, and that it’s probably getting worse as our bubbles become ever more comfortable and impermeable.

    Regarding segues: I prefer the pace without them, but noticed (as did James Golden, above) that Lileks couldn’t quite help himself. As I heard on one or another podcast recently: A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.

    Great show, gentlemen.

    • #25
    • October 21, 2017, at 12:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    We’re a country divided by those who would kneel and those who would not, and yet, still, we can go shopping at The Acme Wedge Shop and find yet another way to divide ourselves into tribal monsters.

    Segues?

    Let’s all hunker down, then, and pay more attention to the words the guests are using. If you can’t yawn for 20 seconds to move past a section you don’t like during an hour-long podcast, you might be taking things just a bit for granted.

    Great pod. Ordered Victor’s book based on the discussion.

    • #26
    • October 21, 2017, at 1:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. RufusRJones Member

    I almost never can relate to any of the style / professionalism complaints about Ricochet podcasts. The freedom they have by not being on broadcast radio far outweighs that, even if I would notice it.

    • #27
    • October 22, 2017, at 2:00 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. HerrForce1 Coolidge
    HerrForce1Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I just listened to this podcast on a long drive from Minneapolis across the autumn color delight of Central Wisconsin. I’d just marveled at the WWII accounts by @victordavishanson & @peterrobinson Whether or not you already listened, I recommend pointing your cursor/app to the 1:00:00-1:02:00 mark to hear @jameslileks beautifully encapsulate the fleeting treasure of a warm fall day in this region. His description brought the forests passing outside my windshield to life. What a treat!

    • #28
    • October 22, 2017, at 6:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  29. James Lileks Contributor

    Thank you! Glad I was able to narrate your journey.

    • #29
    • October 22, 2017, at 10:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Peter Robinson Founder

    James Golden (View Comment):

    * Don’t worry, I like all of the guys on these, and thought Peter Robinson was outstanding on yesterday’s podcast.

    Phew.

    • #30
    • October 23, 2017, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • 1 like