War has always been a defining feature of human society. This pacy, lively history explains why we do it – and how we can stop.
Acclaimed historian and military expert Gwynne Dyer tells the story of war from its earliest origins up to the present age of atom bombs and algorithms.
In this arresting addition to the shortest history series, Dyer chronicles the advent of warfare in the first cities, mired in inequality and tyranny; the 1000-year classical era of combat; and the invention of the firearm, which changed everything. He traces how the carnage of Europe’s Thirty Years’ War eventually bled into the horror of trench warfare on the Somme, and how the devastation of World War II was halted by the shock of Hiroshima.
We are in the longest stretch of peace between major powers in modern history. It marks a precarious balance, as the looming threats of nuclear proliferation, climate change and superpower rivalry threaten our world. Is this the calm before another global conflict, perhaps the most terrifying we have faced? This concise, vivid and clear-sighted book is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the role of war in the long human story – and how we can stop it from dominating our future.