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The Glorious Art of Peace: From the Iliad to Iraq (Hardback)
  • The Glorious Art of Peace: From the Iliad to Iraq (Hardback)
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The Glorious Art of Peace: From the Iliad to Iraq (Hardback)

(author)
£18.99
Hardback 328 Pages / Published: 23/02/2012
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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 by a narrative that is obsessed with war. In this ground breaking study, former Guardian journalist 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 into the twentieth century, 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, as we approach the centenary of the First World War, Gittings argues that, instead of being obsessed by a new war on terror, we should be focusing our energies on seeking peaceful solutions to the challenges of nuclear proliferation, conflict and extremism, poverty and inequality, and climate change.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199575763
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 524 g
Dimensions: 226 x 150 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
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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