In this truly global study, major military historian Azar Gat sets out to unravel the ” riddle of war” throughout human history, from the early hunter-gatherers right. In this sweeping study of war and civilization, Azar Gat sets out to find definitive answers to these questions in an attempt to unravel the riddle of war throughout. Azar Gat is a good example. In his pathbreaking War in Human Civilization ( Oxford UP, ), he explains in politically palatable and.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In this truly global study, major military historian Azar Gat sets out to unravel the “riddle of war” throughout human history, from the early hunter-gatherers right through to the unconventional terrorism of the twenty-first century.
In the process, the book generates an astonishing wealth of original and fascinating insights on all major aspects of humankind’s remarkable In this truly global study, major military historian Azar Gat sets out to unravel the “riddle of war” throughout human history, from the early hunter-gatherers right through to the unconventional terrorism of the twenty-first century. In the process, the book generates an astonishing wealth of original and fascinating insights on all major aspects of humankind’s remarkable journey through the ages, engaging a wide range of disciplines.
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Lists with This Book. Jun 06, Jeff rated it really liked it Shelves: A massive tome that cuts through all of human history, “combining biology, anthropology, archaeology, history, sociology, and political science – and ranging from the origins of our species to the current threat of terrorism.
War civilizatioon always been with us from the depths of pre-history until the ultra-peaceful democracies of today.
Its not going away despite the best intentions and hopes azzr peace loving modern society. However, the dawn of the Industrial Age has wrought amazing change A massive tome that cuts through all of human history, “combining biology, anthropology, archaeology, history, sociology, and political science – and ranging from the origins of our species to the current threat of terrorism. However, the dawn of the Industrial Age has wrought amazing changes on our “cultural evolution” and the future remains murky regarding the dangers and possibilities moving forward.
Nov 15, Eric rated it it was amazing. Azar Gat takes on one of the most fundamental questions regarding human history and nature: In trying to find an answer, Gat covers a broad range of disciplines history, archaeology, azat, sociology, genetics. He clearly demonstrates that war, contrary to being an aberration brought on by civilization, has been a part of humanity’s existence since the beginning.
War in Human Civilization
Wzar though the weapons and the nature of war’s destructiveness have changed, the underlying motivations have Azar Gat takes on one of the most fundamental questions regarding human history and nature: Even though the weapons and the nature of war’s destructiveness have changed, the underlying motivations have azaar the same. Aug 29, Anjar Priandoyo rated it really liked it Shelves: I always have mixed feeling when giving a review for this kind of book.
This book has an interesting idea, that war is the biggest force in human advancement transition, it provides detail evidence since the first Homo 2 million civioization ago to nuclear war and biological weapon. I am pretty sure will read this more than once and used it as a reference to understan I always have mixed feeling when giving a review for this kind of book.
I am pretty sure will read this more covilization once and used it as a reference to understand the war in human culture. Maybe the only problem is this book is too big.
Mar 21, Stephen Gill rated it it was amazing. An enlightening examination of war. Dec 31, Joseph Stieb rated it really liked it. First, what are the essential reasons why humans fight wars?
War in Human Civilization – Azar Gat – Oxford University Press
Second, how have the motivations, practices, and lethality of war changed as human civilization has transformed over time? Although the book is a challenging read given its length and dense writing, Gat offers much illumination on these and other questions. Gat received his Ph.
D in history and he now teaches political science at Tel Aviv University. War in Human Civilization reflects his interdisciplinary career by employing ideas and methods from a variety of science and social science disciplines. Gat needs this expansive toolkit because his essential questions cross disciplinary lines and many of his topics cannot be accessed with only the standard methods of history and civiljzation science. Gat begins with hunter-gatherers and proceeds to the development of tribes, agriculture, chieftainships, states, and ultimately modern forms of politics, economics, and warfare.
The examination of hunter-gatherers is especially crucial in establishing his thesis. He grants great significance to hunter-gatherer warfare because Homo sapiens azxr spent the vast majority of its existence in this mode and the evolutionary mechanisms we developed in this state of nature still deeply influence our behavior today. Employing insights from archaeology, animal behavior, and modern observations of hunter-gatherers, Gat shows that hunter-gatherers used violence to steal women, kill male competitors and their offspring, and access crucial resources and territory.
During his discussion of hunter-gatherer warfare, Gat presents his thesis: Rather, violence is one of many fivilization humans can employ to satisfy the evolutionary complex, and humans azr deploy more or less violence depending azwr a variety of factors.
Gat shows how key developments in human cultural evolution, such as agriculture, states, and industrial production, transformed the ways those societies fought. For example, he shows how the development of gunpowder, ocean navigation, and the printing press in the 15th century triggered a tangle of interconnected developments that heralded the start of modernity: Gat maintains that throughout the cultural evolution of warfare violence has remained instrumental to human goals rather than an end in itself.
Azar Gat, “War in Human Civilization” (Oxford UP, ) |
He posits that human beings will be more or less violent based on the utility of violence in achieving basic evolutionary goals in different civilizational conditions. In this vein, he concludes that civilizatoon frequency and relative lethality of wars has declined in the past few centuries not just because of democratization and shifting values, but because the incentives for using war have lessened under modern civilizational conditions. These conditions include nuclear weapons, global trade, and reduced dar between force and wealth procurement in the industrialized world.
One of his greatest strengths is his ability to break down false dichotomies that have obscured debates about the motivations behind human violence. The most important of these is the debate between social constructionist and biological frameworks.
Gat shows that social constructs over which people may fight are derivative of and subordinate to the central objectives of the evolutionary complex. Humans pursue wealth or political power, for instance, ultimately because they consciously or unconsciously want to secure access to food and reproduction.
Achieving wealth or power are means to those ends. Jan 06, Josh rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a massive and fatiguing book to read. Weighing in at pages it is definitely an endurance test to make it all the way through. Azar Gat admits in the preface that he designed this book not only for scholars but also for the interested reader walking into Barnes and Noble or shopping on Amazon for a book on war. I’m sure this book has made wide circulation among scholarly circles.
However, I doubt seriously that many other readers will take the time and energy to make it past the first This is a massive and fatiguing book to read. However, I doubt seriously that many other readers will take the time and energy to make it past the first pages. That’s not to say that the book is poorly conceived or executed—it’s simply too overwhelming for anyone but the dedicated minority. This is essentially a book about human history that uses an evolutionary framework to explain the origins of violent competition i.
Gat actually advances a fairly simple argument for why humans often resort to violence well, it seems simple and I hope I don’t oversimplify his argument.
Humans are hard-wired through the calculus of survival and reproduction the unforgiving essence of natural selection to pursue an array of strategies to secure resources, women, and the survival of their species.
Peaceful means certainly exist to achieve these ends. All other motives for war—including civvilization, nationalism, religion and ideology, etc. In modern times, though, these secondary elements have become more salient while resource abundance has obscured for a contemporary audience the fundamental rationale for war. Increasing globalization of the economy and economic interdependence have made the benefits of peace outweigh the potential rewards of warfare and have, especially within liberal democracies of the west, exercised a depressing effect on the occurrence and duration of wars.
Throughout the book Gat’s writing is precise and clear. He does has a tendency to repeat himself throughout the various chapters and section introductions and conclusions.
I feel certain that Gat could fivilization written this book in pages, rather than You’ll find that in the beginning chapters he draws mostly on evolutionary theory, anthropology, and archaeology while in the later chapters he pulls heavily from international relations, political science, and sociology to explain political developments.
A more specific review will likely follow Azar Gat War in Human Civilization is an excellent deep history of war that extends far back before civilization began and right up to the date of publication. Gat’s analysis is biocultural: Cultural or Biological Determinist will not care for the reading, but War in Human Civilization as though there was another form of civilization is the best single volume history of war as a human enterprise available at this time.
War Azar Gat War in Human Civilization is an excellent deep history of war that extends far back before civilization began and right up to the date of publication. War in Human Civilization is not for the lazy or the faint of heart.
Coming in at pages print this is a brick and an exhaustive one, at that. Nonetheless, civiilzation those interested in the history and evolution of war, Azar Gat’s War in Human Civilization is on best place to begin. It is written in non-specialized English, though the average reader may have to look a few terms up, and an accessible style. Highly recommended for general history azarr science buff, and especially recommended for those with an interest in war in human history.
Feb 10, Bob Adamcik rated it it was amazing. You can read my review here: Nov 09, Maureen rated it it was amazing Shelves: Author explicates well the key roles of pastoralism and sedentarist agriculture in formalizing the rudiments of war-making The role of military action in state formation, and the state is a machine for war, is powerfully laid out.
The sheer bulk of the data points to the historic nece very dense, very well researched study of the history of human militarism. The sheer bulk of the data points to the historic necessity of strength as a precondition for peace on bearable terms Feb 26, Deepay rated it really liked it. The author collects and present a large body of evidence saying that war exists because cviilization is adaptive, and has been so over a long period of time and in many regions of the world. The breadth of reference and the general thoroughness of writing are impressive.
However, many behaviors are explained as being holdovers from a time when they were adaptive, and one must make one’s own judgement about the strength of that argument.