The Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order
Throughout history the overwhelming majority of human societies have taken war for granted and made it the basis for their legal and social structures. Not until the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century did war come to be regarded as an unmitigated evil and one that could be abolished by rational social organization, and only after the massive slaughter of the two world...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published February 8th 2001 by Yale University Press
(first published 2001)
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Scarcely more than a pamphlet, this book reiterates in broad strokes several of the major themes of "War and the Liberal Conscience." It's a mere 113 well-set and uncrowded pages, and those who read more quickly than a six-year old (or than me) can probably finish in two hours. You'd be fine to read only the last chapter, really, so long as you're familiar with the basic motifs of Western political and military thought over the last two centuries. Really, the book's whole point can be made in th...more
A short and well-written history of war and peace in the western world. Howard emphasizes the fact that throughout much of history war was taken for granted and that the way we understand and value peace today is a relatively recent development -- a result of Enlightenment ideas. Whereas, starting in the late 18th century, peace gradually came to be seen as a grand objective, war, after the destruction and the slaughter of the wars of the last hundred years, began to be considered fundamentally...more
A succinct history of war from the 800s to present in the context of western civilization. It posits that war is the natural state of asocial social humans. Our sociability is necessary for our survival but it will, on the other hand, always create tension and hostility and power struggles. Peace is a rickety invention all too easily destroyed by human kind's tribalism and warlike nature.
Sir Michael Eliot Howard, OM, CH, CBE, MC, FBA, is a British military historian, formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War, Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University, and founder of the Department of War Studies, King's College London.More about Michael Eliot Howard...