War in Human Civilization
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

War in Human Civilization

4.47 of 5 stars 4.47  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  7 reviews
War in Human Civilization In this truly global study, Azar Gat sets out 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. Full description
Paperback, 840 pages
Published March 27th 2008 by OUP Oxford (first published 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 175)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A massive tome that cuts through all of human history, "combining biology, anthropology, archaeology, history, sociology, and political science - and ranging from the origins of our species to the current threat of terrorism." Conclusion: War has always been with us from the depths of pre-history until the ultra-peaceful democracies of today. Its not going away despite the best intentions and hopes of peace loving modern society. However, the dawn of the Industrial Age has wrought amazing change...more
very dense, very well researched study of the history of human militarism.. especially interesting the collation of data regarding pre-historic use of violence as a tool for access to and distribution of resources. Author explicates well the key roles of pastoralism and sedentarist agriculture in formalizing the rudiments of war-making The role of military action in state formation, and the state is a machine for war, is powerfully laid out. The sheer bulk of the data points to the historic nece...more
Why war? The author collects and present a large body of evidence saying that war exists because it is adaptive, and has been so over a long period of time and in many regions of the world. The breadth of reference and the general thoroughness of writing are impressive. However, many behaviors are explained as being holdovers from a time when they were adaptive, and one must make one's own judgement about the strength of that argument.
Nov 10, 2007 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Cultural Anthroplogists
I'm in the process ofreading it so far, so I'll update this when it's done, but so far it's very good. Similar idea to Guns, Germs and Steel, conceptually at least. Obviously Gat's ideas are very different, but the analysis is similar.
Victoria Ferauge
Brilliant book. Clear arguments supporting all his points that are comprehensible (even enjoyable) to the general reader. Not entirely convinced of the kin/culture tie but it certainly gave me a lot to think about.
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
Probably the best single-volume work you will find on the subject. Should be required reading for any serious undergraduate or graduate-level course on war.
Very clear, well written, and thoughtful book on the use of violence through out human history.
João Eira
João Eira marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2014
Ben marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2014
Szplug added it
Mar 31, 2014
Felix marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2014
Tupilak marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2014
Duane marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2014
Fernando Bolinaga H.
Fernando Bolinaga H. marked it as to-read
Mar 11, 2014
Mark marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2014
Johan added it
Mar 08, 2014
Ahmed Ismail
Ahmed Ismail is currently reading it
Mar 03, 2014
Nathan Ward
Nathan Ward marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2014
Leda is currently reading it
Feb 10, 2014
Ziwar marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2014
Jake Doddy
Jake Doddy is currently reading it
Jan 17, 2014
Michael Kent
Michael Kent marked it as to-read
Jan 09, 2014
Sumeet Pradhan
Sumeet Pradhan is currently reading it
Mar 02, 2014
Tara marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2013
Matt Huffer
Matt Huffer marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
A History of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Cold War Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism The Origins of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to Clausewitz Victorious and Vulnerable: Why Democracy Won in the Twentieth Century and How It Is Still Imperiled British Armour Theory and the Rise of the Panzer Arm: Revising the Revisionists

Share This Book