The Shortest History of War

by Gwyne Dyer

£12.99


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Non Fiction

9781910400845

Published May 2021

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.

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