Some questions I would ask Richard A. Gabriel if my 4 hour search for his email hadn’t been futile…

| May 4, 2009

So, I am TOTALLY addicted to the History Channel. Watch it nearly every day. Besides ESPN, Family Guy and Charmed, it’s about all I ever watch. And, if you ever watch it, you’ve no doubt seen Richard A. Gabriel.

Richard A. Gabriel is a distinguished professor in the Department of History and War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and in the Department of Defence Studies at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He was professor of history and politics at the U.S. Army War College and held the Visiting Chair in Military Ethics at the Marine Corps University. A retired U.S. Army officer living in Manchester, New Hampshire, Gabriel is the author of numerous books and articles on military history and other subjects.

Anyway, I couldn’t find his damn email because my research skills suck. Nonetheless, here are some questions I would ask him if my 4 hour search for his email hadn’t been futile last night.

1) Thermopylae, Camerone, The Alamo, Roarke’s Drift….we seem to have an unhealthy fascination with last stands. Why do you think that is, and are there other examples you would cite to of tactical losses that amounted to strategic victories?
2) The American military has exempted homosexuals from serving openly; do you believe that a model of inclusion based in part on the Sacred Band of Thebes is potentially a viable option?
3) There is always discussion of Maneuver vs. Firepower coming out of the Pentagon. In today’s world of asymmetric warfare, is the distinction important, or is there a better way of phrasing the hardware choices that must be made?
4) Which would you rather have if you were serving in Afghanistan: A battalion with a great commander and average squad leaders, or a battalion with an average commander and great squad leaders? What about in other conflicts through history?

Some not so serious questions:
1) It has been noted on my blog that while Canadians export Hockey players, seal pelts and Medal of Honor recipient Peter Lemon to the United States, we send deserters north. Since you work at the Canadian Military College, what can you tell us about any nascent plan by the Canadians to mount up on their Caribou and invade south to fix this trade deficit?
2) It’s been said that you are to the History Channel as Tom Brady is to the NFL, that you totally make it your bitch. Do you concur with this assessment?
3) If you woke up tomorrow and some evil bastard had stolen your moustache, who would you hunt down and kill with your bare hands before stealing their moustache?
4) Hypothetical cage match of you vs. Dr Steven Pressfield, what sort of fighting style would you use? Do you know any crazy Shaolin type shit?

MR Gabriel is here, at just shy of a minute, and Pressfield at 5:30. If you have not read Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire, you honestly should shut down your computer, drive to the nearest bookstore and read it. I can say without a doubt that it is one of the most important books I have ever read, and I have passed around more copies of that book than I care to remember. Hell, I even got Southern Democrat to read it, and he is barely literate. I actually not only have the book in Hard and soft cover, I also have both the abridged and unabridged CD versions.

Category: Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. The Sniper says:

    Dude, total non-gay man-crush on this guy. He is to the History Channel what Radical Islam is to religion… he’s the bomb.

  2. olga says:

    I have to admit that although I love the History Channel and watch it every time I can, I do not remember seeing Richard A. Gabriel…

    TSO Wrote: If only I knew how to operate this technology, you would be banned for 6 hours to ponder your shortcomings. (You’ve seen him on there, it’s just that picture isn’t very good.)

  3. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    For the ‘last stand’ question, I think America has always had a love for the underdog due to our own beginning. The problem today is that the US hasn’t been the underdog since Lake Placid in 1980.

  4. FOMSG says:

    Some people just have that “… Die on your Feet rather than Live on your Knees…” thing.

    Is it a gene?

    “Gates of Fire” is the greatest book ever written in the English language. The only book ever to have made me physicaly weep.

    In public.

    In front of my Soldiers.

    Communal living sucks.

  5. defendUSA says:

    If he indeed lives in Manchester,NH, I can give you his address. And you can send him snail mail. I did not find an email either. I tried cause I LOVE being a sleuth.

  6. Greyhawk says:

    The cage match is a great idea.

    Som’at related, have you seen Spike’s ‘Deadliest Warrior’ yet?

    I caught the Ninja vs Spartan episode…

  7. TSO says:

    Mr Pressfield responded that Gabriel could kick his ass, so cage match is off. For now…

    If it was 1 v 1, probably the ninja, but 10 v 10 you have to go with the Spartan. His strength was in his comrades.

    And yeah, saw a viking one the other day, good show.

  8. streetsweeper says:

    You might find “Thermopylae” at, TSO….Just a hunch nothing more…

  9. FeFe says:

    Try his publisher:

    Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
    88 Post Road West, Box 5007
    Westport, CT 06881-5007
    (800) 368-6868

    130 Cremona Dr.
    Santa Barbara, CA 93117

    Military History/Security Studies
    Praeger/PSI: Anthony Chiffolo,

    Interesting guy:

    The American officer has become more of a military bureaucrat than a combat leader. The solution, Gabriel suggests, lies in changing the structure and the value system of the military profession-no easy task!

  10. Julie A. says:

    I would LOVE to grab Richard Gabriel, share a good bottle of scotch with him and listen to the guy talk all night long in a half drunken stupor.

  11. glen says:

    Man, I love listening to Dr. Gabriel’s commentary on the History Channel.! I enjoy his commentary on Bible Battles, Battles B.C., and all the other programs he is commentary on. He completely BLOWS AWAY the other co-commentors on the History Channel programs. Like what Julie said, I could listen to him talk all night long while in a drunken stupor! He has one of those authoritive voices that commands and holds your attention. He would make an excellent lecture professor, as he could completely keep the attention of his students in a 4-hour lecture. I am a big fan.

  12. Dave Selvers says:

    The History Channels, along with FOX NEWS, have the only credible people hosting and contributing their knowledge. Richard Gabriel is perhaps, one of the most “believable” individuals contributing what sounds like authentic historical facts…and well put with a great mix of logic and rational. Mr. Gabriel has brought, no no, he’s awakened a new perspective to biblical text to the point where the bible actually makes sense now.
    Most of the contributors to the History Channels are credibly great but Richard Gabriel and Peter Wellar are to the History Channels what gunpowder is to a projectile.

    DAve Selvers Canada

  13. Spruce says:

    I was stunned to hear the narrator say in Judgment Day at Marathon (Battles B.C.) that the Persians returned to Greece FORTY years after the battle (i.e., 450 B.C.) to exact vengeance on the Athenians. Then I was even more stunned to hear “distinguished professor” Gabriel repeat the error and state that the Battle of Thermopylae occurred 40 years after Marathon, verbally emphasizing the “40” to stress how long the desire for vengeance had lasted. What person even slightly familiar with Ancient Greece doesn’t know that the second Persian invasion was TEN years after Marathon, i.e., in 480 B.C.? Even I know that, and I’m an engineer, not a historian. I think the History Channel can do better than everyone’s hero Gabriel and the other odd misfits giving commentary in that series.

  14. Dave says:

    I knew Richard A Gabriel while stationed in Belgium at SHAPE headquarters in 1970. He was a brilliant man then even though he was only in his 20s at the time. We both worked in a super-secret office and briefed generals every morning. One morning over our open-source news wire there was a humorous article about “illigetimate calves”. It seems that if an oxen mates with a cow the offspring will not prodce milk and will also be sterile. Anyway Rick embellished on the article and briefed it to the general(s) that morning. What a hoot. I also have memories of his skill at quarterback on our office “flat football team” and the “snoopy world war one pilots hat” his wife gave him when he purchased a Tiger Moth biplane.

  15. jack says:

    dude just watched your comments about Joshua and Jericho and Im saying from my beliefs as a strong christian that the Israelites walked around the city not as a distraction but to show Gods power and that the doors were not opened from the inside but God made them fall and that maybe Rahab had multiple windows or because the men came strait over the fallen walls that they saw the single standing tower they saw the rope. Just saying.

  16. Ed says:

    Dr. Gaberiel,

    You one of the most entertaining speakers in the public eye today. I generally watch the History Channel anyway, but for sure I will watch it if I know your going to be doing a portion of the narrarating. I wish I could take a class under you.


  17. I admire the beneficial data you provide inside your posts. I will bookmark your blog and also have my kids verify up right here usually. I am rather positive they’ll discover lots of new things here than anybody else!

  18. Nino says:

    Wow I never knew this many people were also fans of Prof. Gabriel, I’ve also been trying to contact him to ask a few questions of my own LOL. Did any of you guys manage to find a contact e-mail or work phone number for him?

  19. Ambroz says:

    Big fan of Prof. Gabriel I am 16 years old and a big fan from Slovenia. I love his work and I read all his books and watch all his documenters. At my age he is my idol. =D

  20. Ernest Green says:

    I do not have reply per se, but I do have a question that I have been searching for an answer to since I heard Dr. Gabriel allude to the fact that at Joshua’s funeral there were only two or three mourners. Since he is reputed to being one of the best, if not the best of the Hebrew generals, why were so few in attendance? If my memory serves me correctly, he retired from being a warrior and not in battle.

  21. bostonstrangler says:

    I am an amateur linguist and a big fan of Richard Gabriel. I know he lives in NH now, but based on his accent, I am guessing he is originally from RI or southeastern MA. My friend says western MA. Can anyone tell me where he grew up?

  22. He’s much more interesting than that Most Interesting Man in the World guy. I was thinking of kidnapping him for a few years and forcing all the stories out of him.

  23. Richard Gabriel: brain :: sex: the naughty bits

  24. Anonymous says:

    Im glad to see im not the only one thats become a fan of him, But I wounder how such a charamatic guy dosent have a fan site. or blog. he would be become quite famues.
    But i get the feeling that he likes to stay out of the spotlite. and preffer to be the everyday guy.

    We have to remember one thing about Historians.. that historians dont ” AGREE” sometimes about the nicer details. but only the big picture at a whole, Watch 3 documantarys about the same subject you’ll see what i mean.

    I just spent half an hour trying to look him up. . he has a facebook profile made by a fan. but thats it.
    if There ever was a Historie show version of Top Gear, Richard would be perfect for that.

    Comments like from 300 about the Persian Emporer: “he was a good ruler, i mean no one complained about him… the only reason we hold it against him in the west.. is;…. he atempted the “BURNING” of athens.. what a great terible thing to do.”

    what makes you stand out is that you dont just tell us the events like its from a history book like many of the professors do while they are being filmed, but you also bring your own personality inn and making us think outside the box, coming with an Relastical outlook as you move along .

    If you ever Read this Richard, know that you have alot of fans out there, as you are able to make people who normally arnt interested in history, interested.

    Tor. A fan from norway