In this timely addition to the bestselling shortest history series, acclaimed historian Gwynne Dyer tells the story of war from its prehistoric -- perhaps pre-human -- origins up to the present age of algorithms and atom bombs.

Dyer chronicles the spread of warfare in the world's first cities; the rise of inequality and tyranny as human societies grow; the millennium-long classical age of combat ended by the the carnage of the Thirty Years' War; the brief ensuing interlude of 'limited' war before the popular revolutions of the 18th century ushered in an age of total war -- itself abruptly halted by Hiroshima.

The final chapters deal with the precarious equilibrium of the past 75 years, the longest period of peace between major powers in modern history, and with the looming threats posed by nuclear proliferation, superpower rivalry and climate change.

This vivid, clear-sighted book is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the role of war in the long human story: why we do it -- and how we can stop.


  • Publisher : Old Street Publishing (11 May 2021)
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1910400845

The Shortest History of War