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A powerful and provocative exploration of how war has changed our society--for the better"War! . . . . / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing," says the famous song--but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, war has made humanity safer and richer.In War! What Is It Good For?, the renowned historian and archaeologist Ian Morris tells the gruesome, gripping story of fifteen thousand years of war, going beyond the battles and brutality to reveal what war has really done to and for the world. Stone Age people lived in small, feuding societies and stood a one-in-ten or even one-in-five chance of dying violently. In the twentieth century, by contrast--despite two world wars, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust--fewer than one person in a hundred died violently.

About the Author

Ian Morris

Ian Morris teaches classics, history, and archaeology at Stanford University. Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1960, he now lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. He has directed excavations in Greece, and Italy, and has published 11 books and more than 80 articles. His most recent book, "Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) , tells the stories of East and West across the last 15,000 years, from the final days of the Ice Age into the 22nd century, explaining why the West came to dominate the rest - and what will happen next. His next book, called "War! What is It Good For? " will tell the story of war from prehuman times to our own, making two controversial claims - first, that war has helped humanity as well as harming it; and second, that war is now changing out of all recognition.

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