War in Human Civilization / Edition 1

War in Human Civilization / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Azar Gat
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0199236631

ISBN-13: 9780199236633

Pub. Date: 04/15/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Why do people go to war? Is it rooted in human nature or is it a late cultural invention? How does war relate to the other fundamental developments in the history of human civilization? And what of war today—is it a declining phenomenon or simply changing its shape?

In this sweeping study of war and civilization, Azar Gat sets out to find definitive answers

Overview

Why do people go to war? Is it rooted in human nature or is it a late cultural invention? How does war relate to the other fundamental developments in the history of human civilization? And what of war today—is it a declining phenomenon or simply changing its shape?

In this sweeping study of war and civilization, Azar Gat sets out to find definitive answers to these questions in an attempt to unravel the riddle of war throughout human history, from the early hunter-gatherers right through to the unconventional terrorism of the twenty-first century. In the process, the book generates an astonishing wealth of original and fascinating insights on all major aspects of humankind's remarkable journey through the ages, engaging a wide range of disciplines, from anthropology and evolutionary psychology to sociology and political science. Written with remarkable verve and clarity and wholly free from jargon, it will be of interest to anyone who has ever pondered the puzzle of war.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199236633
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/15/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
840
Sales rank:
1,239,081
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Part 1: Warfare in the First Two Million Years: Environment, Genes, and Culture
1. Introduction: The Human 'State of Nature'
2. Peaceful or War-like: Did Hunter-Gatherers Fight?
3. Why Fighting? The Evolutionary Perspective
4. Motivation: Food and Sex
5. Motivation: the Web of Desire
6. 'Primitive Warfare': How Was It Done?
7. Conclusion: Fighting in the Evolutionary State of Nature
Part 2: Agriculture, Civilization, and War
8. Introduction: Evolving Cultural Complexity
9. Tribal Warfare in Agraria and Pastoralia
10. Armed Force in the Emergence of the State
11. The Eurasian Spearhead: East, West, and the Steppe
12. Conclusion: War, the Leviathan, and the Pleasures and Miseries of Civilization
Part 3: Modernity: the Dual Face of Janus
13. Introduction: the Explosion of Wealth and Power
14. Guns and Markets: the New European States and a Global World
15. Unbound and Bound Prometheus: Machine Age War
16. Affluent Liberal Democracies, Ultimate Weapons, and the World
17. Conclusion: Unravelling the Riddle of War
Endnotes
Index

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War in Human Civilization 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bliokh More than 1 year ago
The book of Azar Gat is as idiosyncratic and angular as, e.g. Borges or Schopenhauer. Some of its passages are simply bigoted or idiotic. But this is probably the most important book on warfare written since J.F.C. Fuller's The Decisive Battles of the Western World (Fuller, by the way, was a well-known Nazi sympathizer). This is a work of pure genius. It now joins the rare firmament occupied by a select few: Sun Tzu, von Klausewitz, etc. as one of the minor but bright stars. See a complete review and argument with several of his statements on my blog oldpossumsbookreview.