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Why We Fight

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Vital insights and wisdom on the perennial question of why we fight

This book explores how some of the greatest minds of civilization have tackled a question that continues to play a vital part in our lives today. In Why We Fight, Simon Van Booy curates an enlightening collection of excerpts, passages, and paintings, presenting works by Sophocles, Tacitus, Pieter Bruegel th
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Harper Perennial
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Mar 28, 2011 G rated it liked it
Why We Fight is a thought-provoking look at the reasons why we fight (and don’t fight), by looking at biology, evolution, religion, and the environment. It is amazing to me that words written thousands of years ago still ring true today. In this book you will find the works of Sophocles, Tacitus, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, William Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Walt Whitman, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, James Tissot, James Joyce, General George ...more
Daryl Quan
Oct 27, 2015 Daryl Quan rated it liked it
In this book, Simon Von Booy provides insights to the perennial question on why we fight. He curates a collection of excerpts from plays, poems, paintings and works from the likes of James Joyces and Charles Dickens.

One wonders, how much of the author's original work has been involved in the writing of this book. Lest the preface, this book is but a 200 page BuzzFeed article constructed with works of famous philosophers and other Writers, littered with quotes which were not elaborated upon.

Sara Habein
Oct 05, 2010 Sara Habein rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Interesting reading. Though not as personally satisfying as Why We Need Love, Why We Fight is still a thought-provoking counterpoint and even the words from thousands of years ago still hold their relevance in our current culture.

(Full review can be found on Glorified Love Letters.)
Oct 01, 2011 Natasha rated it liked it
I wish there would have been more emphasis placed on the context of the quotes littered throughout this compilation. overall it was a very interesting read and take on the subject which exposed me to philosophic theories I hadn't considered before. Particularly interesting was how much has been written comparing man's nature to the culture/habits of other species. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a cross-spectrum sample of issues surrounding this subject.
I liked the different theories this book laid out, and the different texts used to illustrate where our aggressive behaviors could stem from. I do wish that there had been more analysis or commentary from the editor. I'm excited now to read the other two in the set, there are good to read on between other books or during down time when I only have a few minutes, since each segment can be read alone.
Sep 25, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it
This one had the most logical arc of the three. I liked how it posited Karl Lorenz (aggression is innate to the human animal) against Richard Leakey (aggression is a cultural construct) and went from there. Interesting set of books -- I'll review them all together presently.
Nov 17, 2014 Annisa rated it really liked it
"Reading reassures us that no matter how alone we might feel, there are many others -- spread as wide as history itself -- who have felt the same way as we have, who have occupied the rooms we find ourselves locked in at various points of our lives." :")
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Hayley Smith-Kirkham
The best part was George Patton's speech... holy damn!
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Simon Van Booy was born in London and grew up in rural Wales and Oxford. After playing football in Kentucky, he lived in Paris and Athens. In 2002 he was awarded an MFA and won the H.R. Hays Poetry Prize. His journalism has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the New York Times and the New York Post. Van Booy is the author of The Secret Lives of People in Love, now translated into ...more
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