This book examines Western perceptions of war in and beyond the 19th-century, surveying the writings of novelists, anthropologists, psychiatrists, poets, natural scientists, journalists and soldiers to trace the origins of modern philosophies about the nature of war and conflict. Daniel Pick compares philosophical and historical modes of conflict with fictions of invasion and biological speculations about the nature and value of conquest. He discusses the work of such well-known commentators as Clausewitz, Engels and von Bernhardi, and examines little-known war writings by Proudhon, De Quincey, Ruskin, Valery, Reich and many others. Pick explores why so many major 19th-century writers justified war and even considered it rational and indespensible to social survival. And, conversely, he shows that during the course of the century, war was increasingly depicted as a machine running out of control, a locomoticve on the tracks toward total destruction. Pick looks at ways in which change and continuity, technology and destructve power, rationality and madness entered the debate on the nature and use of violence and conflict.
By analyzing the contexts and evolution of discussions of war in the previous century, he aims to shed light on current thought on this subject.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 710 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 x 30 mm