The Shortest History of War

From Hunter-Gatherers to Nuclear Superpowers—A Retelling for Our Times

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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 08 Aug 2022

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Description

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War has always been a defining feature of human society. This new addition to the Shortest History series explains why we do it—and how we can stop.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has punctured the longest stretch of peace between major powers since WWII, bringing the horrors of warfare—past, present, and future—to the forefront of readers’ minds. In The Shortest History of War, internationally acclaimed historian Gwynne Dyer adds urgently needed context.

Dyer ably charts the evolution of violent conflict: tribal aggression, classical combat, limited war, total war, and cold war—followed by present-day terrorism, nuclear threats, and the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). His brilliant, brisk history is a harrowing must-read for all who wonder: How will rival superpowers with unprecedented weapons shape the future of our interconnected world?

This file is NOT currently available for Kindle. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have difficulties with downloading, please email us (at publicity@theexperimentpublishing.com) for...


Advance Praise

“From the first armies to clashes of drones and dirty bombs, this is eye-opening, big-picture stuff.” —BBC History Magazine

“Readable and sharp . . . does what it says on the tin.”— Independent

“Dyer writes with eloquence and authority . . . particularly effective in painting in broad strokes the evolution of warfare.”—Irish Examiner

“Entirely convincing . . . at once a valuable historical treatise and a fervent and compelling call toward pacifism.”—Publishers Weekly

“[R]anges over the terrain of history, sparkling with insight and digressions . . . brilliant.”—The Seattle Times

“From the first armies to clashes of drones and dirty bombs, this is eye-opening, big-picture stuff.” —BBC History Magazine

“Readable and sharp . . . does what it says on the tin.”— Independent

“Dyer...


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ISBN 9781615199303
PRICE $15.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

The Shortest History of War by Gwynne Dyer offers both an excellent overview of that history as well as working definitions of what qualifies as war and the elements that go into making for war.

The early history is what many readers will recognize as warfare while the more modern (but not contemporary) history is that same concept on a larger and ever more destructive scale. It is in the recent history of war where Dyer excels. This is also where the various aspects of why and how we decide on war become paramount. Like any rational being he hopes and wants to find ways to minimize (and ideally eliminate) war, yet he also knows from experience (reserve officer, lecturer of war studies, etc) that war will not easily, if ever, be eliminated.

While some show their need to compensate for their shortcomings (figurative and literal, no doubt) by mistakenly claiming entire chapters are nothing but subjective "fluff," don't let their limited reading comprehension abilities sway you. Analysis is not purely subjective, particularly when supported by statistics and multiple research studies. Dyer certainly offers some opinions, but most of what he offers is analysis based on facts (dirty word to some).

For those who want a short history of warfare as well as an up-to-date assessment of where we are now in relation to potentially devastating warfare, this is an excellent place to start. In fact, if you mainly just want that basic framework, this is all you will need. There are good notes at the end that both provide the sources for all the "subjective" analysis and offer direction for further research.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

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