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The Glorious Art of Peace: Paths to Peace in a New Age of War (Paperback)
  • The Glorious Art of Peace: Paths to Peace in a New Age of War (Paperback)
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The Glorious Art of Peace: Paths to Peace in a New Age of War (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 25/10/2018
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Human progress and prosperity depend on a peaceful environment, and most people have always sought to live in peace, yet our perception of the past is dominated too often not by stories of peace but by tales of war. In this path-breaking study, former Guardian East Asia Editor John Gittings demolishes the myth that peace is dull and that war is in our genes, and opens an alternative window on history to show the strength of the case for peace which has been argued from ancient times onwards. Beginning with a new analysis of the treatment of peace in Homer's Iliad, he explores the powerful arguments against war made by classical Chinese and Greek thinkers, and by the early Christians. Gittings urges us to pay more attention to Erasmus on the Art of Peace, and less to Machiavelli on the Art of War. The significant shift in Shakespeare's later plays towards a more peace-oriented view is also explored. Gittings traces the growth of the international movement for peace from the Enlightenment to the present day, and assesses the inspirational role of Tolstoy and Gandhi in advocating non-violence. Bringing the story up to date, he shows how the League of Nations in spite of its "failure" led to high hopes for a stronger United Nations, but that real chances for peace were missed in the early years of the cold war. And today, Gittings argues that, instead of being obsessed by a new "war on terror" we should be seeking peaceful solutions to the challenges of nuclear proliferation, conflict and extremism, poverty and inequality, and climate change. This paperback edition includes a new preface, in which Gittings looks at how the world is confronted with new dangers to peace, as the election of President Trump highlights the continuing unpredictability and irrational nature of a system of international relations which could lead to new wars and even nuclear disaster.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198826897
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 373 g
Dimensions: 215 x 135 x 2 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
An urgent, lucid, and perceptive account of a subject which remains sadly neglected in favour of the study of war. * Charles Townshend, editor of The Oxford History of Modern War *
This is a marvellous book combining a remarkable historical perspective with a real sense of current predicaments. John Gittings brings a breadth of knowledge and understanding into the interpretation of peace that provides a much-needed antidote to the emphasis on conflict that is currently so pervasive. In doing so, he achieves the rare feat of combining a hard-headed approach to the issues with a sense of optimism that is rooted in experience. A hugely welcome addition to the literature on peace, and of great value to scholar, student, or activist-indeed, anyone committed to seeking a more peaceful world. * Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford *
A wonderful study ... One of the achievements of this volume is that it manages to cover a wide range of issues, dynamics, disciplines, instruments, and actors significant to the topic, while also presenting a historical and aesthetic perspective in a very readable and enjoyable fashion. * Oliver P. Richmond, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology *
We need all the insights collected in Gittings's impressive book and more, enriching our culture with more capacity to cooperate, empathize, reconcile and resolve conflict. Violence and war are often symptoms of underlying, unresolved traumas and conflicts. Identify them, solve them: incompatibilities are challenges to make changes that accommodate compatibility. An art, yes, but it can be learnt. Glorious, for sure. And feasible, when we add Gittings's optimism. * Johan Galtung, International Affairs *
Many of our cherished assumptions about war and peace are challenged in this ambitious and refreshing book by the historian and former Guardian journalist John Gittings * The Tablet *
This comprehensive history of the arts of peace was an ambitious undertaking that has resulted in a fine study. * Irish Times *
Peace, not war, is the true measure of human progress, argues John Gittings ... in an original re-appraisal of history which opens up the prospect of a new, pacific, world order. * Corriere della Sera *
John Gittings believes when we do give peace a chance - we flourish ... His book makes interesting arguments for struggling toward peace. * 'The Current', CBC Radio *
'The Glorious Art of Peace' manages to mix the authority of academic study with the readability of journalism to create a book that is thoroughly enjoyable. * E-International Relations *
Eminently readable, this book would make a great gift for the activist and sympathetic non-activist alike, providing inspiration from the glorious heritage of peace activism down the ages. * Peace News *
We need all the insights collected in Gittings's impressive book and more, enriching our culture with more capacity to cooperate, empathize, reconcile and resolve conflict. Violence and war are often symptoms of underlying, unresolved traumas and conflicts. Identify them, solve them: incompatibilities are challenges to make changes that accommodate compatibility. An art, yes, but it can be learnt. Glorious, for sure. And feasible, when we add Gittings's optimism. * Johan Galtung, International Affairs *

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