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War Before Civilization


Author : Lawrence H. Keeley
language : en
Publisher: OUP USA
Release Date : 1997-12-18


Download War Before Civilization written by Lawrence H. Keeley and has been published by OUP USA this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 1997-12-18 with History categories.


Offering a devastating rebuttal to the comfortable myth that prehistoric warfare was rare, harmless, and unimportant, Lawrence H. Keeley's groundbreaking "War Before Civilization" debunks the notion that warfare was introduced to primitive societies through contact with civilization. 16 illustrations.

War Before Civilization


Author : Lawrence H. Keeley
language : en
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date : 1997-12-18


Download War Before Civilization written by Lawrence H. Keeley and has been published by Oxford University Press this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 1997-12-18 with Social Science categories.


The myth of the peace-loving "noble savage" is persistent and pernicious. Indeed, for the last fifty years, most popular and scholarly works have agreed that prehistoric warfare was rare, harmless, unimportant, and, like smallpox, a disease of civilized societies alone. Prehistoric warfare, according to this view, was little more than a ritualized game, where casualties were limited and the effects of aggression relatively mild. Lawrence Keeley's groundbreaking War Before Civilization offers a devastating rebuttal to such comfortable myths and debunks the notion that warfare was introduced to primitive societies through contact with civilization (an idea he denounces as "the pacification of the past"). Building on much fascinating archeological and historical research and offering an astute comparison of warfare in civilized and prehistoric societies, from modern European states to the Plains Indians of North America, War Before Civilization convincingly demonstrates that prehistoric warfare was in fact more deadly, more frequent, and more ruthless than modern war. To support this point, Keeley provides a wide-ranging look at warfare and brutality in the prehistoric world. He reveals, for instance, that prehistorical tactics favoring raids and ambushes, as opposed to formal battles, often yielded a high death-rate; that adult males falling into the hands of their enemies were almost universally killed; and that surprise raids seldom spared even women and children. Keeley cites evidence of ancient massacres in many areas of the world, including the discovery in South Dakota of a prehistoric mass grave containing the remains of over 500 scalped and mutilated men, women, and children (a slaughter that took place a century and a half before the arrival of Columbus). In addition, Keeley surveys the prevalence of looting, destruction, and trophy-taking in all kinds of warfare and again finds little moral distinction between ancient warriors and civilized armies. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, he examines the evidence of cannibalism among some preliterate peoples. Keeley is a seasoned writer and his book is packed with vivid, eye-opening details (for instance, that the homicide rate of prehistoric Illinois villagers may have exceeded that of the modern United States by some 70 times). But he also goes beyond grisly facts to address the larger moral and philosophical issues raised by his work. What are the causes of war? Are human beings inherently violent? How can we ensure peace in our own time? Challenging some of our most dearly held beliefs, Keeley's conclusions are bound to stir controversy.

War Before Civilization


Author : Lawrence H. Keeley
language : en
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date : 1997-12-18


Download War Before Civilization written by Lawrence H. Keeley and has been published by Oxford University Press this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 1997-12-18 with Social Science categories.


The myth of the peace-loving "noble savage" is persistent and pernicious. Indeed, for the last fifty years, most popular and scholarly works have agreed that prehistoric warfare was rare, harmless, unimportant, and, like smallpox, a disease of civilized societies alone. Prehistoric warfare, according to this view, was little more than a ritualized game, where casualties were limited and the effects of aggression relatively mild. Lawrence Keeley's groundbreaking War Before Civilization offers a devastating rebuttal to such comfortable myths and debunks the notion that warfare was introduced to primitive societies through contact with civilization (an idea he denounces as "the pacification of the past"). Building on much fascinating archeological and historical research and offering an astute comparison of warfare in civilized and prehistoric societies, from modern European states to the Plains Indians of North America, War Before Civilization convincingly demonstrates that prehistoric warfare was in fact more deadly, more frequent, and more ruthless than modern war. To support this point, Keeley provides a wide-ranging look at warfare and brutality in the prehistoric world. He reveals, for instance, that prehistorical tactics favoring raids and ambushes, as opposed to formal battles, often yielded a high death-rate; that adult males falling into the hands of their enemies were almost universally killed; and that surprise raids seldom spared even women and children. Keeley cites evidence of ancient massacres in many areas of the world, including the discovery in South Dakota of a prehistoric mass grave containing the remains of over 500 scalped and mutilated men, women, and children (a slaughter that took place a century and a half before the arrival of Columbus). In addition, Keeley surveys the prevalence of looting, destruction, and trophy-taking in all kinds of warfare and again finds little moral distinction between ancient warriors and civilized armies. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, he examines the evidence of cannibalism among some preliterate peoples. Keeley is a seasoned writer and his book is packed with vivid, eye-opening details (for instance, that the homicide rate of prehistoric Illinois villagers may have exceeded that of the modern United States by some 70 times). But he also goes beyond grisly facts to address the larger moral and philosophical issues raised by his work. What are the causes of war? Are human beings inherently violent? How can we ensure peace in our own time? Challenging some of our most dearly held beliefs, Keeley's conclusions are bound to stir controversy.

War In Human Civilization


Author : Azar Gat
language : en
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date : 2008


Download War In Human Civilization written by Azar Gat and has been published by Oxford University Press this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 2008 with History categories.


Why do people go to war? Is it rooted in human nature or is it a late cultural invention? And what of war today - is it a declining phenomenon or simply changing its shape? In this truly global study of war and civilization, Azar Gat sets out to find definitive answers to these questions in an attempt to unravel the 'riddle of war' throughout human history, from the early hunter-gatherers right through to the unconventional terrorism of the twenty-first century. Written with remarkable verve and clarity and wholly free from jargon, it will be of interest to anyone who has ever pondered the puzzle of war.

Warless Societies And The Origin Of War


Author : Raymond Case Kelly
language : en
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Release Date : 2000


Download Warless Societies And The Origin Of War written by Raymond Case Kelly and has been published by University of Michigan Press this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 2000 with History categories.


A concise study using archeological and ethnographic evidence to refute current theories about the origin of war

Human Smoke


Author : Nicholson Baker
language : en
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date : 2008-03-11


Download Human Smoke written by Nicholson Baker and has been published by Simon and Schuster this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 2008-03-11 with History categories.


Bestselling author Nicholson Baker, recognized as one of the most dexterous and talented writers in America today, has created a compelling work of nonfiction bound to provoke discussion and controversy -- a wide-ranging, astonishingly fresh perspective on the political and social landscape that gave rise to World War II. Human Smoke delivers a closely textured, deeply moving indictment of the treasured myths that have romanticized much of the 1930s and '40s. Incorporating meticulous research and well-documented sources -- including newspaper and magazine articles, radio speeches, memoirs, and diaries -- the book juxtaposes hundreds of interrelated moments of decision, brutality, suffering, and mercy. Vivid glimpses of political leaders and their dissenters illuminate and examine the gradual, horrifying advance toward overt global war and Holocaust. Praised by critics and readers alike for his exquisitely observant eye and deft, inimitable prose, Baker has assembled a narrative within Human Smoke that unfolds gracefully, tragically, and persuasively. This is an unforgettable book that makes a profound impact on our perceptions of historical events and mourns the unthinkable loss humanity has borne at its own hand.

The Myth Of The Noble Savage


Author : Ter Ellingson
language : en
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date : 2001-01-16


Download The Myth Of The Noble Savage written by Ter Ellingson and has been published by Univ of California Press this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 2001-01-16 with Social Science categories.


In this important and original study, the myth of the Noble Savage is an altogether different myth from the one defended or debunked by others over the years. That the concept of the Noble Savage was first invented by Rousseau in the mid-eighteenth century in order to glorify the "natural" life is easily refuted. The myth that persists is that there was ever, at any time, widespread belief in the nobility of savages. The fact is, as Ter Ellingson shows, the humanist eighteenth century actually avoided the term because of its association with the feudalist-colonialist mentality that had spawned it 150 years earlier. The Noble Savage reappeared in the mid-nineteenth century, however, when the "myth" was deliberately used to fuel anthropology's oldest and most successful hoax. Ellingson's narrative follows the career of anthropologist John Crawfurd, whose political ambition and racist agenda were well served by his construction of what was manifestly a myth of savage nobility. Generations of anthropologists have accepted the existence of the myth as fact, and Ellingson makes clear the extent to which the misdirection implicit in this circumstance can enter into struggles over human rights and racial equality. His examination of the myth's influence in the late twentieth century, ranging from the World Wide Web to anthropological debates and political confrontations, rounds out this fascinating study.