The Savage Wars Of Peace

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This book aims to solve the problem of how parts of mankind escaped from an apparently inevitable trap of war, famine, and disease in the last 300 years. Through a detailed comparative analysis of English and Japanese history it explores such matters as the destruction of war, decline of famine, importance of certain drinks (especially tea), the use of human excrement, and the effects of housing, clothing, and bathing on human health. It also shows how the English and Japanese controlled fertility through marriage and sexual patterns, biological and contraceptive factors, abortion, and infanticide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It gave me great pleasure, not least because it is so elegantly written; and above all it did what all splendid books should do, it whetted my curiosity."--Roy Porter

"Rewarding and innovative."--The Times Higher Education Supplement

"The crescendo of a highly successful writing career...a very remarkable book by a very remarkable man."--Peter Laslett, The American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403904324
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Macfarlane is Professor of Anthropological Science, University of Cambridge and a Fellow of King's College.

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Trap
• The Malthusian Trap
• Two Islands
Part II: Wars of Peace
• Natural Environment, Culture and Human LabourLabor
• The Destruction of War
• The Nature, Causes and Elimination of Famine
• Food and Nutrition
Part III: The Body
• Dysentry, Typhoid, Cholera and the Water Supply
• Drink: Milk, Water, Beer and Tea
• Two Methods for the Disposal of Human Excrement
Part IV: On the Body
• Vectorborne Diseases: Plague, Typhus and Malaria
• Public Environs: Streets, Fields and Markets
• Housing and Health
• Textiles, Clothing and Footwear
• Bodily Hygiene: Bathing and Washing
• Changing Concepts of Dirt and Cleanliness
Part V: In the Air
• Airborne Diseases: Smallpox, Measles and Tuberculosis
Part VI: In the Womb
• Fertility, Marriage and Sexual Relations
• Biology and Contraception
• Abortion and Infanticide
• Strategies of Heirship
Part VII: Outcome
• Design and Chance

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