This modern classic by international journalist and military historian Gwynne Dyer is widely acknowledged as one of the most compelling analyses of armed conflict throughout the ages. Dyer traces the growth of organised warfare from the earliest days of humankind, arguing – with neither despair nor false optimism – that war as an act of mass violence has remained unchanged. The only real change has been technological. He suggests that the international system, whereby each polity is responsible for its own defence, encourages war to settle disputes about status and influence. Why is this? Why do men and women fight wars? Is it even possible to tame the impulse? Is this “lethal custom” innate, or culturally determined? How might we change? War is essential reading on the way to resolving these eternal questions.
Gwynne Dyer has served in the Canadian, British and American navies. He holds a PhD in war studies from the University of London, has taught at Sandhurst and served on the Board of Governors of Canada’s Royal Military College. His syndicated column appears in more than 175 newspapers around the world.
Now in a revised and updated edition, this masterwork will be published in the UK for the first time. It is a source of the kind of endless reflection that prompts genuine solutions – if we dare.