The Nature of War

Origins and Evolution of Violent Conflict


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SKU: 9780786468379 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

For over 12,000 years human beings have warred, slaughtering each other with persistence and brutality. From spear point to thermonuclear ordnance, human ingenuity has had a serious downside. In the 20th century alone, wars claimed more than 90 million lives. Yet war’s origins, meaning, and evolution over the millennium remain to this day a mystery. Why is warfare “almost” as old as man himself? How is it that a creature capable of producing great art, architecture, literature, medicine, and wondrous acts of compassion is simultaneously capable of such cruel and wanton slaughter? To answer these and other questions, this thoughtful study journeys across time and disciplines to examine and sensibly explain human warfare, clarify its source and driving energy, and thoughtfully develop the prospect of a true and lasting peace.

About the Author(s)

Jim Stempel is an authority of the Eastern campaigns of the American Civil War. His articles on psychology, human development, and warfare have also appeared in the New Times, Concepts In Human Development, and North & South. He lives in western Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Stempel

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6837-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9058-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Prologue 3
One. Some Proposals on the Origin of War 11
Two. The Developmental Path 23
Three. Civilization’s Dawn 35
Four. Civilization, Eden and the Romantic Blunder 43
Five. The Psychology of War 50
Six. The Archetype, the Ego and the Genesis of War 61
Seven. Alexander and the Warrior Archetype 72
Eight. A New Way Emerges 83
Nine. Revolution 92
Ten. A Violent Clash of Levels 112
Eleven. Documents of Change 125
Twelve. A War to End All Wars 137
Thirteen. The Great War, Act II 151
Fourteen. Cold War Conflict 162
Fifteen. The Evolution of War 170
Sixteen. The Future’s Promise 177
Seventeen. Understanding Weapons 185
Eighteen. Peace 191
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 207
Index 211

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Recommended”—Choice
  • “a sweeping analytical framework… Stempel demonstrates a thorough knowledge of warfare, from battlefield tactics and strategies to the continued advancement of weapons technologies and their role in the evolution of armed conflict…informative…well-researched and smoothly written”—Library of Social Science
  • “This is the most intelligent, penetrating, and insightful study of human warfare I’ve ever read. The insights will touch you deeply, and even give you the tools to end the inner wars inside us all.”—Mark Waldman, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, author of Words Can Change Your Brain