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Features

March 2013

The biggest loser

by Barry Strauss

Why the failings of Demosthenes prove his historical importance.


Bust of Demosthenes, Roman copy after a Greek Hellenistic original; copy of Polyeuktos, c.a. 280 BC, via the British Museum.

 

When I was an undergraduate, one of my teachers used to talk only half-seriously about “Great Losers in American History,” beginning with Aaron Burr. It’s not a theme that George Patton would have warmed to. As the general said to the troops, “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.” No doubt that’s true—and not just in the U.S.—when it comes to choosing leaders. Yet even Ameri ...

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Barry Strauss's most recent book is The Trojan War: A New History (Simon & Schuster).


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 March 2013, on page 14

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On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
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Audio copyright Ed Driscoll, www.eddriscoll.com.


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