The Glorious Art of Peace: From the Iliad to Iraq

Hardcover | February 9, 2012

byJohn Gittings

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Human progress and prosperity depend on a peaceful environment, and most people have always sought to live in peace, yet our perception of the past is dominated too often by a narrative that is obsessed with war. In this ground breaking study, former Guardian journalist John Gittingsdemolishes the myth that peace is dull and that war is in our genes, and opens an alternative window on history to show the strength of the case for peace which has been argued from ancient times onwards.Beginning with a new analysis of the treatment of peace in Homer's Iliad, he explores the powerful arguments against war made by classical Chinese and Greek thinkers, and by the early Christians. Gittings urges us to pay more attention to Erasmus on the Art of Peace, and less to Machiavelli on theArt of War. The significant shift in Shakespeare's later plays towards a more peace-oriented view is also explored. Gittings traces the growth of the international movement for peace from the Enlightenment to the present day, and assesses the inspirational role of Tolstoy and Gandhi in advocating non-violence. Bringing the story into the twentieth century, he shows how the League of Nations in spite of its"failure" led to high hopes for a stronger United Nations, but that real chances for peace were missed in the early years of the cold war. And today, as we approach the centenary of the First World War, Gittings argues that, instead of being obsessed by a new war on terror, we should be focusing our energies on seeking peaceful solutions to the challenges of nuclear proliferation, conflict and extremism, poverty and inequality, andclimate change.

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Human progress and prosperity depend on a peaceful environment, and most people have always sought to live in peace, yet our perception of the past is dominated too often by a narrative that is obsessed with war. In this ground breaking study, former Guardian journalist John Gittingsdemolishes the myth that peace is dull and that war i...

John Gittings was for many years chief foreign leader-writer and East Asia Editor at The Guardian, and is now on the editorial board of the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace and a research associate of the Centre of Chinese Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. After working at the Royal Institute of Internat...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:February 9, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199575762

ISBN - 13:9780199575763

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Customer Reviews of The Glorious Art of Peace: From the Iliad to Iraq

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Finished ahead of schedule mmmmm....it's okay. Still not convinced it's a history book. He used a historical platform to give his argument momentum, but that's about it....
Date published: 2013-01-13

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Perception of Peace and War2. Ancient Peace: From Homer to the Hundred Schools3. The Morality of Peace: from Jesus to the Crusades4. The Humanist Approach: Erasmus and Shakespeare5. The Growth of Peace Consciousness: From Kant to The Hague6. Alternatives to War: The League of Nations and Non-Violence7. The Misappropriation of Peace: From the UN to the Cold War8. Giving Peace a Chance: From the Cold War to IraqConclusion: Peace in the 21st CenturySelect BibliographyNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Contains a wealth of information and is certainly a good counterweight to recent books which emphasise Mao's personality as the key to China's history in the 20th Century... the history of modern China is an epic one, told superbly by Gittings" --Guardian