The timely message that "peace does not preserve itself" opens this study of the origins of mankind's greatest and most destructive wars. The author, a distinguished American historian, considers four mammoth wars, and one near-disaster, the Cuban missile crisis. He reveals the common threads which connect the ancient confrontations between Athens and Sparta, and between Rome and Carthage, with the two calamitous world wars of our own century - against the German military machines of Kaiser Wilhelm and Adolf Hitler. What were the real failures which led to world war in 1914? In the years leading up to World War II, were the appeasers of the 1930s solely to blame for Hitler's rise, or were the most important errors made in the peaceful 1920s. In the Cuban missile crisis, did President Kennedy really make Khruschev blink? Donald Kagan's answers to these questions challenge most traditional interpretations.
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Praise for Donald Kagan's On the Origins of War
A particularly timely masterpiece . . . brilliantly examines the origins of four major, devastating conflicts. Los Angeles
Humane and penetrating . . . Kagan shows how, tragically, measures undertaken precisely to prevent war have in the past repeatedly brought it closer. The New Criterion
By now it is all too clear that the so-called end of history really has meant the return of history, with a vengeance. Recent events regrettably confirm that warfare is inherent to any system of world affair yet imagined, so we better do all we can to prevent it. Professor Kagan's impressive volume presents thoughts that are timely, intellectually deep, and just about indispensable. George P. Schultz, Former U.S. Secretary of State"
Donald Kagan is Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University. A former dean of Yale College, he received his Ph.D. in 1958 from The Ohio State University. His publications include On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace, The Peloponnesian War, and Thucydides: The Reinvention of History. In 2002 he was the recipient of the National Humanities Medal and in 2005 was named the National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecturer."
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Book Description Trafalgar Square, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91791790