It has been claimed that around 14,500 wars have been fought since 3,500 BC. Humanity has only experienced 300 years of peace on Earth.


ISBN: 9789189069770 Category:


It has been claimed that around 14,500 wars have been fought since 3,500 BC. Humanity has only experienced 300 years of peace on Earth. During the twentieth century more people in total, were killed in wars, than during any previous century. Relatively, though we kill each other less often now. Are we gradually becoming more peaceful? Regardless of the number of people killed, and the technology used to do it, we can rest assured that wars will be continued to be fought. Can the causes of war be found in society or in biology, in a competition for economic or sexual resources, in historical circumstances – or in a universal violent instinct?

The essays in this anthology originate from the internationally renowned Engelsberg Seminar of 2015, and are written by international historians, journalists, thinkers, researchers, and authors. From the conflicts of antiquity to the dynamics of modern terrorism, this book is about war as a creator and destroyer of states and civilizations. Edited by Kurt Almqvist and Alexander Linklater.

Additional information

Weight 1092 g
Dimensions 18.1 x 24.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 22 November 2022
Number of pages 380
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Sir Hew Strachan, Elisabeth Kendall, and Rana Mitter
Dimensions 18.1 x 24.7 cm
Weight 1092 g


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Rana Mitter, OBE FBA, is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, and a fellow of St Cross College, at the University of Oxford. His books include China's War with Japan, 1937-1945: the struggle for survival, which won the 2014 RUSI/Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature, and China's Good War: how World War II is shaping a new nationalism. He won the Historical Association's Medlicott Medal for Service to History in 2020, and is a regular presenter for BBC Radio in the UK.

Jessica Stern is a research professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University and a senior fellow at Harvard's School of Public Health. She is a 2016 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis. In 2009, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on trauma and terror. Her books include Denial: a memoir of terror and The Ultimate Terrorists.

Sir Hew Strachan, FBA, FRSE, has been Wardlaw Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews since 2015. He is a life fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and an emeritus fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where he was Chichele Professor of the History of War from 2002 to 2015. His books include The First World War, the first volume of a trilogy; Clausewitz's On War: a biography and The Direction of War: contemporary strategy in historical perspective.