The invention of peace reflections on war and international order

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the invention of peace reflections on war and international order

The Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order by Michael Eliot Howard

Throughout history the overwhelming majority of human societies have taken war for granted and made it the basis for their legal and social structures. Not until the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century did war come to be regarded as an unmitigated evil and one that could be abolished by rational social organization, and only after the massive slaughter of the two world wars did this become the declared objective of civilized states. Nevertheless, war in one form or another continues unabated. In this elegantly written book, a preeminent military historian considers why this is so.

Is war in some sense still a necessary element in international order? Are war and peace in fact complementary? Does not peace itself breed the conditions that will ultimately lead to war? And if nuclear weapons have made war ultimately suicidal for mankind, what can be done about it? Having devoted half a century largely to studying these questions, Michael Howard offers us his reflections. Unless they can be answered, he notes, the twenty-first century is unlikely to be any more peaceful than the centuries that preceded it.
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Understanding War and Peace in the Middle East

THE INVENTION OF PEACE: Reflections on War and International Order

Throughout history the overwhelming majority of human societies have taken war for granted and made it the basis for their legal and social structures. Not until the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century did war come to be regarded as an unmitigated evil and one that could be abolished by rational social organization, and only after the massive slaughter of the two world wars did this become the declared objective of civilized states. Nevertheless, war in one form or another continues unabated. In this elegantly written book, a preeminent military historian considers why this is so. Is war in some sense still a necessary element in international order? Are war and peace in fact complementary?

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Howard, professor emeritus of military and naval history at Yale The Lessons of History ; etc. Howard's aim is to examine Western political history from the year to the present, extracting from that history the essential views of each era about the role of war among nations and the possibility of achieving peace. Because the treatment of each era is so compressed the book is an expanded lecture , readers will have to marshal all their knowledge of history to understand the author's points.

Throughout history the overwhelming majority of human societies have taken war for granted and made it the basis for their legal and social structures. Not until the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century did war come to be regarded as an unmitigated evil and one that could be abolished by rational social organization, and only after the massive slaughter of the two world wars did this become the declared objective of civilized states. Nevertheless, war in one form or another continues unabated. In this elegantly written book, a preeminent military historian considers why this is so. Is war in some sense still a necessary element in international order? Are war and peace in fact complementary?

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  1. The Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order | Foreign Affairs

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