War in Human Civilization

Paperback | April 15, 2008

byAzar Gat

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Why do people go to war? Is it rooted in human nature or is it a late cultural invention? How does war relate to the other fundamental developments in the history of human civilization? And what of war today - is it a declining phenomenon or simply changing its shape? In this truly global study of war and civilization, Azar Gat sets out to find definitive answers to these questions in an attempt to unravel the 'riddle of war' throughout human history, from the early hunter-gatherers right through to the unconventional terrorism of the twenty-first century. In the process, the book generates an astonishing wealth of original and fascinating insights on all major aspects of humankind's remarkable journey through the ages, engaging a wide range of disciplines, from anthropology and evolutionary psychology to sociology and political science. Written withremarkable verve and clarity and wholly free from jargon, it will be of interest to anyone who has ever pondered the puzzle of war.

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Why do people go to war? Is it rooted in human nature or is it a late cultural invention? How does war relate to the other fundamental developments in the history of human civilization? And what of war today - is it a declining phenomenon or simply changing its shape? In this truly global study of war and civilization, Azar Gat sets ou...

Azar Gat is Ezer Weitzman Professor of National Security in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University. He has published widely in the field of military strategy and thought, including A History of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Cold War, also published by Oxford University Press, and has taught and le...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:840 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.57 inPublished:April 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199236631

ISBN - 13:9780199236633

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Warfare in the First Two Million Years: Environment, Genes, and Culture1. Introduction: The Human 'State of Nature'2. Peaceful or War-like: Did Hunter-Gatherers Fight?3. Why Fighting? The Evolutionary Perspective4. Motivation: Food and Sex5. Motivation: the Web of Desire6. 'Primitive Warfare': How Was It Done?7. Conclusion: Fighting in the Evolutionary State of NaturePart 2: Agriculture, Civilization, and War8. Introduction: Evolving Cultural Complexity9. Tribal Warfare in Agraria and Pastoralia10. Armed Force in the Emergence of the State11. The Eurasian Spearhead: East, West, and the Steppe12. Conclusion: War, the Leviathan, and the Pleasures and Miseries of CivilizationPart 3: Modernity: the Dual Face of Janus13. Introduction: the Explosion of Wealth and Power14. Guns and Markets: the New European States and a Global World15. Unbound and Bound Prometheus: Machine Age War16. Affluent Liberal Democracies, Ultimate Weapons, and the World17. Conclusion: Unravelling the Riddle of WarEndnotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`A towering and triumphant achievement... acute, scholarly, and wide-ranging: it is certainly one of the most important works on the subject written since 1945. Gat is at the top of his brilliant form, linking a variety of disciplines in a rich and comprehensive study of this most pertinent ofissues.'Professor Richard Holmes