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War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Fate of Civilization from Primates to Robots (Anglais) Relié – 15 avril 2014

4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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A bold and controversial rethinking of the role of war in human history and how it will shape our future. Morris draws startling conclusions - in the long term war has been a good thing, yet if we continue waging it with ever-more deadly weaponry, we will destroy everything we've achieved. The much anticipated follow up to }Why the West Rules{ --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Serious and thought-provoking analysis and discussion of "the role of conflict in civilisation" since prehistoric times. Conjectures for the decades to come may be less convicing though.

Note: one may want to start reading chapter 6 before chapter 1 and subsequent chapters
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 War: turns out its good for something 8 avril 2015
Par Aaron P. Jackson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I thoroughly enjoyed Morris’ previous book ‘Why the West Rules – For Now’, so I had high expectations of this book. Although it didn’t quite reach the benchmark set by ‘Why the West Rules’ (for example, the opening few pages are nowhere near as attention-grabbing), ‘War: What is it Good For?’ is nevertheless worth reading. The formula is essentially the same as in ‘Why the West Rules’: Morris makes a simple argument throughout the book and although he makes regular detours into various aspects of history that are only loosely related to this core argument, he nevertheless returns to it often enough that the book maintains coherence. The core argument of ‘War: What is it Good For?’ is that over the very long term (thousands of years) war has brought about the creation of larger and more organised societies that have been increasingly good at suppressing internal violence, the paradoxical result being that war has progressively decreased the likelihood of people dying violently.

Of the accompanying ‘detours’, the most interesting (to this reviewer) were the thorough debunking of the theory that there is a unique ‘Western way of war’ and Morris’ explanation of why Europeans developed guns much more quickly than the Chinese despite the latter having invented and used them well before they reached Europe. Those who have read ‘Why the West Rules’ will be unsurprised to hear that Morris’ explanation regarding the second of these detours is largely based on comparative geography, with political conditions constituting a secondary if nevertheless important factor. Yet the role of geography in shaping Morris’ overall argument is much less important in this book that it was in ‘Why the West Rules’.

Instead, biology is the key factor underlying Morris’ conclusion in ‘War: What is it Good For?’. Having provided a longue durée history of war in human societies, Morris turns his attention in the book’s latter chapters to the evolutionary reasons underlying why various species evolved to utilise violence. He seamlessly ties this discussion into the emergence of warfare within early human societies, returning to his core argument with the added benefit of an interdisciplinary perspective.

In the final chapter Morris turns his attention to the near future, relatively speaking (although he does not define an exact timeline for many of his speculations, he regularly goes out to between 2020 and 2050 CE). This component of his discussion was the weak point of the book. Having spent six chapters establishing a comprehensive argument about the role of war in human society over a very long period of time, in the final chapter Morris’ emphasises the transformative nature of technological advances. His argument that due to new technologies the next few decades are likely to be very different to the hundreds of centuries that came before them seems overly-optimistic. Even though his overall argument provides some compelling reasons for optimism about the future, this final chapter would have been much more convincing were it based on the same historical and evolutionary arguments mounted in the rest of the book and not on a sudden turn towards technological determinism.

Finally it should be observed that Morris has written this book for a generally educated lay readership. Academic and military readers may find themselves frustrated or unconvinced due to the light style of the prose, the constant detours from the core argument, the use of very simple examples (occasionally these are overly-simplistic, especially where Morris discusses tactics) and the limited supporting data provided in some sections of the book. Yet despite these aspects, the inclusion of endnotes, a guide for further research and a bibliography have allowed Morris to maintain basic academic standards in an unobtrusive way. Readers who want to access this extra information can do so, without it constituting an off-putting element for other, more casual readers. For this reviewer the accessibility of Morris’ approach has been worth the sacrifice of the additional detail that is usually found in academic studies and it is hoped that the accessibility of this book will help to generate wider interest in the field of longue durée military history.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brilliant and important book. 3 juillet 2015
Par Fox Scarlett - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Absolutely brilliant. Some people just won't be able to accept these ideas or even think about them seriously. I don't know what to say to such people besides, "If you really have faith in your own reasoning ability, why not give this some thought?" For those who can tolerate having their assumptions challenged, this book is a must read. Sometimes (often?), reality is more complex than the systems we've been taught to keep our thoughts on the bright side, or aligned with this or that social construct. Yes, these implications ARE challenging to deal with. Even if you ultimately disagree with the author, you can't claim to refute him without seriously pondering the ideas he raises. A very very important book.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "Another perspective, best history book I've read." 22 mars 2016
Par Eric - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This book has strongly influenced my world view. Beside its treatment of war and conflict, it is also an excellent history book that cuts through history along the axis of war. Its content is too loaded to be a page turner, but the topic sticks. I found it is logically built up, and although perhaps controversial, it does systematically address all obvious questions. The only part where I found the author wanders off is over-optimistic (at least in my view) description of drones and their capabilities, in Chapter 7. This almost, but not quite, sounds like an advertorial for the US defense industry. It just doesn't fit the otherwise neutral and objective message of the book.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent read! Thought provoking and strips away the prejudices ... 22 juillet 2015
Par Bruce Saunders - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Excellent read! Thought provoking and strips away the prejudices we have about warfare and looks objectively at it from a historical and institutional perspective. We all know it's "bad", but Morris tells us why it remains a persistent part of the human experience and he backs up his claims with solid evidence. He also cites many other excellent sources. A great read for anyone interested in the history of human violence.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Yes, War Is Not Only Inevitable, It is Not All that Bad, Either! 5 septembre 2015
Par Nikolay Altankov - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
A paradox explained, argued and defended in clear terms - war is not all that bad, considering the alternatives. Modern societies all around the globe are indeed indebted to the sequences of war throughout the long centuries of human existence. Do we really aapreciate what we have now compared to past times?
This book is a must-read to anyone who is willing to set his own prejudices aside - at least going through the pages of Dr.Morris' new book - in order to comprehend the intricacies involved when discussing even seemingly easy issues such as war and peace.
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