The acclaimed author and preeminent military historian John Keegan examines centuries of human conflict. From primitive man in the bronze age to the end of the cold war in the twentieth century, Keegan shows how armed conflict has been a primary preoccupation throughout the history of civilization and how deeply rooted its practice has become in our cultures.
"Keegan is at once the most readable and the most original of living military historians . . . A History of Warfare is perhaps the most remarkable study of warfare that has yet been written."--The New York Times Book Review.
In his sweeping new study, Keegan ( The Face of Battle ) examines the origins and nature of warfare, the ethos of the primitive and modern warrior and the development of weapons and defenses from the battle of Megiddo (1469 B.C.) into the nuclear age. Keegan offers a refreshingly original and challenging perspective. He characterizes warriors as the protectors of civilization rather than as its enemy and maintains that warfare is ``entirely a masculine activity.'' Though warfare has become an ingrained practice over the course of 4000 years, he argues, its manifestation in the primitive world was circumscribed by ritual and ceremony that often embodied restraint, diplomacy and negotiation. Peacekeepers, he suggests, would benefit from studying primitive warmaking--especially now, ``a time when the war of all against all already confronts us.'' A masterwork. Photos. 40,000 first printing; History Book Club main selection; BOMC alternate.