Gwynne Dyer's War, now in its first UK edition, is widely regarded as one of the most compelling analyses of the history and psychology of armed conflict. Veteran political journalist and military historian Dyer argues against the inevitability of warfare in clear, intelligent and eminently accessible prose, submitting neither to resignation nor false optimism. The multipolar world that has arisen since the fall of the Iron Curtain has forced a re-examination of the accepted fundamentals of history. Dyer traces the psychology of soldiers to the workings of whole armies, and then to broader historical movements and how they change over time - or don't. He argues that war, as an act of mass violence, has remained unchanged; the only real change has been technological. Can shared values, widely disseminated, help us move beyond mass warfare? Does the endless threat of terrorism help preserve the military status quo? Are traditional military and administrative hierarchies still relevant? Why do humans fight wars? Is it even possible to tame the impulse? How can we unlearn war?War is essential reading on the way to resolving these perennial questions, and is a valuable historical treatise as well as a fervent, persuasive call to pacifism.
Gwynne Dyer has served in the Canadian, British and American navies. He holds a PhD in war studies from the University of London, has taught at Sandhurst and served on the Board of Governors of Canada's Royal Military College. His syndicated column appears in more than 175 newspapers around the world. He is the author of Don't Panic!: ISIS, Terror and the Making of the New Middle East (Periscope, 2016).