War is a paradox. On the one hand, it destroys bodies and destroys communities. On the other hand, it is responsible for some of the strongest human bonds and has been the genesis of many of our most fundamental institutions.
War and Society addresses these paradoxes while providing a sociological exploration of this enigmatic phenomenon which has played a central role in human history, wielded an incredible power over human lives, and commanded intellectual questioning for countless generations. The authors offer an analytical account of the origins of war, its historical development, and its consequences for individuals and societies, adopting a comparative approach throughout. It ends with an appraisal of the contemporary role of war, looking to the future of warfare and the fundamental changes in the nature of violent conflict which we are starting to witness.
This short, readable and engaging book will be an ideal reading for upper-level students of political sociology, military sociology, and related subjects.
Miguel Angel Centeno is Musgrave Professor of Sociology and Professor of International Affairs Elaine Enriquez is a Research Fellow at Princeton University
Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1: The Nature of War Violence and Aggression War as Organized Violence A Paradox of War: Organization and Anarchy War as a Human Construct The Causes of War Explaining War Chapter 2: War of the Warrior The Horror of Battle Brutality Making Warriors Military Values Duty and Discipline Chapter 3: War of Armies Origins of Battle The Phalanx, the Fleet, and the Legion The Return of the Horse Military Revolution: Gunpowder The Birth of Total War: Napoleon's Revolution and the American Civil War A Century of War Explaining the Progress of War Chapter 4: War of Societies Conquest Genocide Strategic Bombing Nuclear Armageddon Chapter 5: How Wars Build Wars and Big Outcomes Militaries and the Individual Chapter 6: War and Society in the Twenty-First century The End of Empires The Limits of Firepower: Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq Who Will Serve? The Changing Demographics of the Military Conclusion References