Mortimer Adler writes in his introduction: "In thinking about war and peace, as in thinking about other basic practical problems, the man who brings general ideas and principles to bear upon particular problems and formulations has a unique advantage. He can make effective contact with the concrete and the immediate without losing a dispassionate vision of the universal and the timeless. He can exercise that critical detachment necessary for a thoughtful, rather than an emotional, judgement upon the conflicting policies which solicit his adherance."
How to think About War and Peace discusses immediate issues in terms of eternal principles, viewing present problems in the large perspectives that history and philosophy can provide. This book engages in a timeless project not contingenton current events, but cumulated from a continuing history of the battle between war and peace. Written in the midst of the Second World War, Adler's purpose was not to proffer how to make peace after the end of the war, but rather to instruct how to think about peace and war and how to continue this process to maintain peace, or, how to effect its establishment.