Readership: The general reader interested in the history of war and warfare. Students and scholars of history and international relations with an interest in war.
Azar Gat, Ezer Weitzman Professor of National Security, Department of Political Science, University of Tel Aviv
"An immensely ambitious work covering not only history but archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, demography and economics, to name but a few... its weight of learning is borne aloft by the author's enthusiasm for his subject and takes his readers with it. If only there were more scholars like this!" - Michael Howard, TLS Books of the Year
"There's any amount of fascinating insight to be found in this big and enormously ambitious interdisciplinary study." - The Scotsman
"A book of extraordinary ambition, erudition and range... Every student of war will be obliged to engage with this remarkable piece of scholarship." - Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, King's College, London
"A work of extraordinary scope and formidable erudition... Gat definitively unravels the riddle of civilization and war." - Professor Robert J. Lieber, Georgetown University
"A towering and triumphant achievement... acute, scholarly, and wide-ranging: it is certainly one of the most important works on the subject written since 1945. Gat is at the top of his brilliant form, linking a variety of disciplines in a rich and comprehensive study of this most pertinent of issues." - Professor Richard Holmes
Part 1: Warfare in the First Two Million Years: Environment, Genes, and Culture
1: Introduction: The Human 'State of Nature'
2: Peaceful or War-like: Did Hunter-Gatherers Fight?
3: Why Fighting? The Evolutionary Perspective
4: Motivation: Food and Sex
5: Motivation: the Web of Desire
6: 'Primitive Warfare': How Was It Done?
7: Conclusion: Fighting in the Evolutionary State of Nature
Part 2: Agriculture, Civilization, and War
8: Introduction: Evolving Cultural Complexity
9: Tribal Warfare in Agraria and Pastoralia
10: Armed Force in the Emergence of the State
11: The Eurasian Spearhead: East, West, and the Steppe
12: Conclusion: War, the Leviathan, and the Pleasures and Miseries of Civilization
Part 3: Modernity: the Dual Face of Janus
13: Introduction: the Explosion of Wealth and Power
14: Guns and Markets: the New European States and a Global World
15: Unbound and Bound Prometheus: Machine Age War
16: Affluent Liberal Democracies, Ultimate Weapons, and the World
17: Conclusion: Unravelling the Riddle of War