How Conflict Shaped Us
A New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year
Finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize
Thoughtful and brilliant insights into the very nature of war--from the ancient Greeks to modern times--from world-renowned historian Margaret MacMillan.
War, the instinct to fight, is inherent in human nature; peace is the aberration in history. War has shaped humanity, its institutions, its states, its values and ideas. Our very language, our public spaces, our private memories, some of our greatest cultural treasures reflect the glory and the misery of war. War is an uncomfortable and challenging subject not least because it brings out the most vile and the noblest aspects of humanity.
Margaret MacMillan looks at the ways in which war has shaped human history and how, in turn, changes in political organization, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight. The book considers such much-debated and controversial issues as when war first started; whether human nature dooms us to fight each other; why war has been described as the most organized of all human activities and how it has forced us to become still more organized; how warriors are made and why are they almost always men; and how we try to control war.
Drawing on lessons from a sweep of history and from all parts of the globe, MacMillan reveals the many faces of war--the way it shapes our past, our future, our views of the world, and our very conception of ourselves.
About this Author
Margaret MacMillan received her PhD from Oxford University and is now a professor of international history at Oxford, where she is also the warden of St. Antony's College. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; a senior fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto; and an honorary fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto, and of St. Hilda's College, Oxford University. Her published works include The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, a New York Times Notable Book; Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History; Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World; Women of the Raj: The Mothers, Wives, and Daughters of the British Empire in India; and Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize, and the Duff Cooper Prize and was a New York Times Editors' Choice.
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