The Shortest History of War
by Gwyne Dyer
In this addition to the bestselling ‘shortest history’ series, acclaimed historian and military expert Gwynne Dyer tells the story of war from its prehistoric – perhaps pre-human – origins up to the present age of algorithms and atom bombs.
Dyer chronicles the spread of warfare in the first cities; the inexorable rise of inequality and tyranny as human societies grow; the millennium-long classical age of combat ended by the carnage of the Thirty Years’ War; and the brief ensuing interlude of ‘limited war’ before the popular revolutions of the 18th century ushered in an era of total war – itself abruptly halted by Hiroshima.
The final chapters deal with the precarious equilibrium of the past 75 years – the longest period of peace
between major powers in modern history – and the looming threats of nuclear proliferation, superpower rivalry and climate change.
This vivid, clear-sighted book is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the role of war in the long human story: why we do it – and how we can stop.