War Machine: The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 27%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $12.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 56%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $12.49   
  • New (7) from $25.81   
  • Used (8) from $0.00   


This fascinating book examines Western perceptions of war in and beyond the nineteenth century, surveying the writings of novelists, anthropologists, psychiatrists, poets, natural scientists, and journalists to trace the origins of modern philosophies about the nature of war and conflict.

'This is a clever, interesting, and in many ways learned book.' John Keegan, Sunday Telegraph

'In a brilliant work of cultural analysis, Pick has mined some curious disparate areas and been rewarded with remarkable material for study.' Observer

'Profound ... A fascinating book.' Martin Pawley, Guardian

'Continuously intelligent and concerned, cogently argued, well-informed ... I fear this excellent book will always be timely.' Tony Tanner, European

'Pick, in his timely new study of how war came to be justified in the 20th century, provides a hundred reasons why no country should ever get involved in fighting.' Walter Ellis, Times

'An original, eclectic and personal study ... Pick has cast his net widely to survey a broad sample of political, literary, economic and psychological works of Europe's most important thinkers and writers.' Choice

Daniel Pick is reader in history at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Pick (history, U. of London) traces the history of modern thought on the nature of military conflict, bringing together philosophical and historical models of war with fictions of invasions, propaganda, interpretations of shellshock, the relationship between machinery and destruction, and speculations about the biological value of conquest--the pervasive European belief that war is beneficial or at least functionally necessary. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300067194
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
A Note on the Text
1 Introduction 1
2 Cobden's Critique of War 19
3 Clausewitz and Friction 28
4 Proudhon's War and Peace 42
5 Engels and the Devouring War of the Future 48
6 De Quincey's 'Most Romantic of All Romances' 59
7 Ruskin and the Degradation of True War 65
8 The Biology of War 75
9 The Wake of 1870 88
'The Prussian Race Ethnologically Considered' 88
Transfigurations 97
The Driverless Train 106
War's Saturnalia 110
10 Tunnel Visions 115
11 1914: The 'Deep Sources' 136
12 The Rationalisation of Slaughter 165
Time and Motion 165
'The Voice of the Machines' 175
The Perfect Abattoir 178
13 'The Unnatural and Terrible Wall of the War' 189
14 'The Revolt of the Machines' 205
15 'Why War?' 211
Reich's 'Machine Murder' 211
Freud-Einstein 214
Anxiety and Mastery 227
'All my libido...' 239
The Psychopathology of Everyday Death 243
Seismic Shifts? 257
Bibliography 271
Index 287
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)