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Book review: War: What Is It Good For? by Ian Morris

What explains the decline of violence?

By Edward Luttwak   June 2014

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The Conquest of Siberia by Vasily Surikov, 1895: “Wars cannot bring peace without victory, and cannot be won by clever stratagems alone” © Fine Art Images/Superstock

Everyone knows that the purpose of war is to bring peace by ending deadly quarrels in one way or another. In his new book, Ian Morris explores the different ways in which this has been achieved across the millennia, drawing examples from the pre-prehistory of primate studies to the headlines of 2013, by way of archaeology (his profession) and plain historiography…

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