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Constant Battles: Why We Fight

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  43 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
With armed conflict in the Persian Gulf now upon us, Harvard archaeologist Steven LeBlanc takes a long-term view of the nature and roots of war, presenting a controversial thesis: The notion of the "noble savage" living in peace with one another and in harmony with nature is a fantasy. In Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage, LeBlanc contends that warfa ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Jacob
Mar 25, 2013 Jacob rated it really liked it
Shelves: human-prehistory
This is a great book if you like anthropology and don't mind having some popular notions about human prehistory and primitive cultures dispelled. LeBlanc argues that
We need to recognize and accept the idea of a nonpeaceful past for the entire time of human existence. Though there were certainly times and places during which peace prevailed, overall such interludes seem to have been short-lived and infrequent. (p. 8)

Hunter gatherers did not live in peaceful harmony with each other up until civili
...more
Megan Alsheikh
Apr 23, 2014 Megan Alsheikh rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what other people see in this book, but I just really am not pleased in the quality and factuality. There are so many debatable claims LeBlanc makes, and I have more than once noted that he refers to something as "possibly" having happened, or as a "best explanation" and then later using the possibility or best explanation as a factual reference.
As a science major, the statement that really ground my gears the most was,
"In truth, it is possible to eliminate all predators, change the
...more
Caroline
Feb 20, 2011 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Such an interesting - but hardly surprising - and well-documented point of view. An archeologist who gradually came round to the view that he was looking at a lot of evidence of resource wars over the centuries. Like other animals, when we have access to good resources, we reproduce until we are effectively using them all, and then start warring with the neighbors. But his archeological view of this is fascinating.
Phil Fox
Mar 13, 2011 Phil Fox rated it liked it
Reading this after "1491" is probably a good thing as it goes more in depth to some of the topics originally raised specifically in the Americas.

However, when comparing the books, Mann's 1491 completely turns the prevailing understanding of American history (as in the hemisphere) on its head. While Constant Battles seems more like a drawn out essay topic.
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