War by Gwynne Dyer
The Lethal Custom

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Synopsis

While modern science ponders whether human beings are programmed toward belligerence and warfare, there is no doubt that war has been humanity's constant companion since the dawn of civilization, and that we have become all too proficient in its conduct. In War, noted military historian Gwynne Dyer ranges from the tumbling walls of Jericho to the modern advent of total war in which no one is exempt from the horrors of armed conflict. He shows how the martial instinct has evolved over the human generations and among our close primate relations, such as the chimpanzee. Dyer squarely confronts the reality of war, and the threat of nuclear weapons, but does not despair that war is our eternal legacy. He likes and respects soldiers, even while he knows their job is to kill; he understands the physics and the psychology of battles, but he is no war junkie. Dyer surveys the fiery battlefields of human history, never losing sight of the people caught up in war. He actually believes there is hope that war can be abolished, that human beings are more than just our genes. War is an award-winning book that explores the human past to imagine a different future.
 

About Gwynne Dyer

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Published January 1, 1985 by Crown. 496 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for War

Kirkus Reviews

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Everyone was a candidate, but the reason psychiatric disorders did not show up more frequently in the casualty rolls, Dyer suggests, “was that most combat troops did not survive long enough to go to pieces.” Combat has changed since WWII, and individual soldiers have a somewhat better chance of s...

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Publishers Weekly

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A chronicle of organized human aggression gets a timely update in this new edition of a seminal book originally published 20 years ago. As Dyer covers the history of human warfare-from primitive triba

May 02 2005 | Read Full Review of War: The Lethal Custom

The New York Times

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to transfer a greater share of forces to the Pacific, freeing him to emphasize his greatest priority, which was to keep the Soviet Union in the war against Germany.” As Toll rightly asserts in his book’s final pages, Midway exposed a central tension that would govern the remaining three years of ...

Nov 25 2011 | Read Full Review of War: The Lethal Custom

The Guardian

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Its legacy dogs the climbers along every step of their "mimic campaign", through overlapping vocabulary (in the laconic idiom of the age, expeditions and battles are both "shows"), equipment used (altitude necessitates the use of oxygen to prevent the climbers – some of whom had survived gas atta...

Sep 25 2011 | Read Full Review of War: The Lethal Custom

Publishers Weekly

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A chronicle of organized human aggression gets a timely update in this new edition of a seminal book originally published 20 years ago.

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Los Angeles Review of Books

THE STORY OF GEOFF DYER'S GRANDFATHER signing up for World War I, as it was handed down, fits into the uniform legends of the time.

Aug 17 2011 | Read Full Review of War: The Lethal Custom

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