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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
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)
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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
Acknowledgements
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
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