In a celebrated calculation, the Swiss historian Jean Jacques Babel estimated that in approximately 5,500 years of documented history, the world has known a meager 292 years of peace. Whereas war is apparently never ending, we think of individual wars as beginning, spanning a certain number of years, and then ending. In fact, many parts and peoples of the world have experienced virtually endless wars-or, at least, wars of remote origin and long duration, spanning several generations. This book examines those conflicts, concentrating both on their origin and principal episode or episodes. It goes into depth about why and how these wars continued for as long as they did and what the residual effects were. Fourteen wars are presented in chronological order, in chapters illustrated with archival images gathered from around the world.
Joseph Cummins is the author of The World's Bloodiest History, War Chronicles: From Chariots to Flintlocks, War Chronicles: From Flintlocks to Machine Guns, History's Great Untold Stories, and Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises in U.S. Presidential Campaigns. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.