Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide

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9780525952534: Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide
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An award-winning expert on international affairs and military history reveals the astounding truth about war: Peacekeeping is working.

Read the newspapers, and you'll be convinced war is worse than it's ever been: more civilian deaths, more rapes, more armed conflicts all around the world. But as leading scholar and writer Joshua Goldstein shows in this vivid, dramatic book, the reality is just the opposite. The commonly quoted statistic that "a century ago 90 percent of war deaths were military, but nowadays 90 percent are civilian" is based on one error in a little-read, twenty-year-old report. The truth is that the military-civilian death ratio has remained at around 50-50 for centuries. Most amazingly, we are in the midst of a general decline in armed conflict that is truly extraordinary in human history.

Winning the War on War is filled with startling observations, including:

  • 2010 had one of the lowest death rates from war, relative to population, of any year, ever.
  • No national armies are currently fighting one another-all current wars are civil wars.
  • UN peacekeeping actually works very well, and 67 percent of Americans support the UN, according to a recent poll.

    Goldstein compiled evidence ranging from the histories of UN peacekeeping missions to the latest Swedish data on armed conflicts. He tells the stories of peacekeeping failures such as Bosnia and Rwanda, but also the less heralded success stories such as Mozambique and El Salvador. In this "boots on the ground" account, Goldstein shows why global peacekeeping efforts are working-how large-scale looting, sexual assault, and genocidal atrocities are being stopped-and how we can continue winning the war on war.

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Review:

""Winning the War on War" reveals the greatest untold story of the past two decades-that contrary to popular impressions, war has become substantially rarer and less dangerous... This book could change the understanding of policy makers, opinion leaders, and a wide readership."
-Steven Pinker, professor of psychology, Harvard College; author of the bestseller "The Blank Slate"

""Winning the War on War "does what no other book has attempted, providing a synoptic view, and narrative, of the slow but successful evolution of UN peacekeeping. It takes an unusual and unorthodox approach that works very well indeed." - Paul Kennedy, Professor of History, Yale University and author of "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers"

"A highly readable account of the nature and problems of peacekeeping... an important contribution to public understanding of international affairs." - Brian Urquhart, Former Undersecretary-General of the UN; author of "Ralph Bunche: An American Life "and "Hammarskjold "

"Professor Goldstein has written a novel, highly informative, and exceedingly valuable book." - David Hamburg, President Emeritus, Carnegie Corporation of New York; former president, AAAS

"Joshua Goldstein... tells the untold story of how we seem to be winning the long-term fight against war, and why. His book should be required reading for policymakers and the media." -Nils Petter Gleditsch, Peace Research Institute Oslo

"A surprising study that suggests warfare is decreasing .... Optimistic, useful history of diplomacy as counterweight to brutality." -"Kirkus"

"The most important political book of the year." -Gregg Easterbrook, author of "The Progress Paradox"

""Winning the War on War "reveals the greatest untold story of the past two decades-that contrary to popular impressions, war has become substantially rarer and less dangerous... This book could change the understanding of policy makers, opinion leaders, and a wide readership." -Steven Pinker, professor of psychology, Harvard College; author of the bestseller "The Blank Slate "
""Winning the War on War "does what no other book has attempted, providing a synoptic view, and narrative, of the slow but successful evolution of UN peacekeeping. It takes an unusual and unorthodox approach that works very well indeed." - Paul Kennedy, Professor of History, Yale University and author of "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers"
"Professor Goldstein has written a novel, highly informative, and exceedingly valuable book." - David Hamburg, President Emeritus, Carnegie Corporation of New York; former president, AAAS
"A highly readable account of the nature and problems of peacekeeping... an important contribution to public understanding of international affairs." - Brian Urquhart, Former Undersecretary-General of the UN; author of "Ralph Bunche: An American Life "and "HammarskjOld "
"Joshua Goldstein... tells the untold story of how we seem to be winning the long-term fight against war, and why. His book should be required reading for policymakers and the media." -Nils Petter Gleditsch, Peace Research Institute Oslo
"A surprising study that suggests warfare is decreasing .... Optimistic, useful history of diplomacy as counterweight to brutality." -"Kirkus"
"The most important political book of the year." -Gregg Easterbrook, author of "The Progress Paradox"

"Winning the War on War reveals the greatest untold story of the past two decades-that contrary to popular impressions, war has become substantially rarer and less dangerous... This book could change the understanding of policy makers, opinion leaders, and a wide readership." -Steven Pinker, professor of psychology, Harvard College; author of the bestseller The Blank Slate
Winning the War on War does what no other book has attempted, providing a synoptic view, and narrative, of the slow but successful evolution of UN peacekeeping. It takes an unusual and unorthodox approach that works very well indeed. - Paul Kennedy, Professor of History, Yale University and author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
Professor Goldstein has written a novel, highly informative, and exceedingly valuable book. - David Hamburg, President Emeritus, Carnegie Corporation of New York; former president, AAAS
A highly readable account of the nature and problems of peacekeeping an important contribution to public understanding of international affairs. - Brian Urquhart, Former Undersecretary-General of the UN; author of Ralph Bunche: An American Life and Hammarskjold
Joshua Goldstein tells the untold story of how we seem to be winning the long-term fight against war, and why. His book should be required reading for policymakers and the media. -Nils Petter Gleditsch, Peace Research Institute Oslo
A surprising study that suggests warfare is decreasing .... Optimistic, useful history of diplomacy as counterweight to brutality. -Kirkus
The most important political book of the year. -Gregg Easterbrook, author of The Progress Paradox"

"Reveals the greatest untold story of the past two decades-that contrary to popular impressions, war has become substantially rarer and less dangerous... This book could change the understanding of policy makers, opinion leaders, and a wide readership." Steven Pinker, professor of psychology, Harvard College; bestselling author ofThe Blank Slate
Does what no other book has attempted, providing a synoptic view, and narrative, of the slow but successful evolution of UN peacekeeping. It takes an unusual and unorthodox approach that works very well indeed. Paul Kennedy, professor of history, Yale University; author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
A novel, highly informative, and exceedingly valuable book. David Hamburg, President Emeritus, Carnegie Corporation of New York; former president, AAAS
A highly readable account of the nature and problems of peacekeeping an important contribution to public understanding of international affairs. Brian Urquhart, former Undersecretary-General of the UN; author of Ralph Bunche: An American Life and Hammarskjold
The untold story of how we seem to be winning the long-term fight against war, and why. His book should be required reading for policymakers and the media. Nils Petter Gleditsch, Peace Research Institute Oslo
A surprising study that suggests warfare is decreasing .... Optimistic, useful history of diplomacy as counterweight to brutality. Kirkus
The most important political book of the year. Gregg Easterbrook, author of The Progress Paradox"

About the Author:

Joshua S. Goldstein is a professor at the School of International Service at American University, winner of the International Studies Association "Book of the Decade" award, among others, and a research scholar at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he lives.

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