APolitical History of the World PDF ☆ APolitical


APolitical History of the World A three thousand year history of the world that examines the causes of war and the search for peaceIn three thousand years of history China has spent at least eleven centuries at war The Roman Empire was in conflict during at least 50 per cent of its lifetime Since 1776 the United States has spent over one hundred years at war The dream of peace has been universal in the history of humanity So why have we so rarely been able to achieve itIn A Political History of the World Jonathan Holslag has produced a sweeping history of the world from the Iron Age to the present that investigates the causes of conflict between empires nations and peoples and the attempts at diplomacy and cosmopolitanism A birds eye view of three thousand years of history the book illuminates the forces shaping world politics from Ancient Egypt to the Han Dynasty the Pax Romana to the rise of Islam the Peace of Westphalia to the creation of the United NationsThis truly global approach enables Holslag to search for patterns across different eras and regions and explore larger uestions about war diplomacy and power Has trade fostered peace What are the limits of diplomacy How does environmental change affect stability Is war a universal sin of power At a time when the threat of nuclear war looms again this is a much needed history intended for students of international politics and anyone looking for a background on current events The concluding chapter redeems what is otherwise a difficult readbut once you’ve read the final chapter the logic of Jonathan Holslag’s cumbersome and repetitive review of regimes empires nations and cultures makes sense Political history does than “rhyme” it repeats a series of underlying principles over and over again A concise summary of conflict war and peace from the beginning of states to the present Many wars are written and many are left out We learn It also briefly describes how about war and peace were thought about I knew about most of it from prior reading but it is always good to stay informed about the past I’m a sucker for big history so I lapped it up The author wrote it to cover the most important things that politicians diplomats and other decision makers should know One shortcoming of the book is that the conuests of the Spanish Empire could have been dealt with a bit thoroughly as well as its defeat that was a significant step in the rise of American power In the epilogue the author summarizes the book uickly discusses the theories of international relations and how none of the conflict has been moral But the author never considers the marked decline in violence and war as documented in The Better Angels of Our Nature Why Violence Has Declined which was disappointingI suggest you read this alongside War What is it Good For? which gives key information on the history of war and conflict It's nice to think of oneself as an eclectic reader and I think for the most part I genuinely am but recently I've been experimenting with reading things that really are very off brand for me and a three thousand year history of global diplomacy and warfare certainly ualifies Jonathan Holslag is a professor of international politics in Brussels which is both an occupation and a locale that would seem to euip him thoroughly to write this book For the most part it's delightfully informative covering Asian pre history and antiuity as well as the obvious Western empires There's much less about North and South American civilisations though Holslag acknowledges occasionally peoples like the Olmec and the Maya with the addendum that the documentary evidence for civilisations in these places is thinner on the ground This is probably true although it seems rather weak sauce The main problem though is that he covers so much in the way of historical event kingdom A fought kingdom B; kingdom B forced to defend against kingdoms C through E declined until its overthrow by kingdom F which had been uietly amassing strength for decades that he leaves little room for analysis or exposition regarding diplomacy which is in theory the purpose of the book It's of little interest to know about the vacillations of power amongst kingdoms A through F when the rationale or the psychology behind those vacillations remains largely unexplained  This is a difficult book to rate and evaluate on the one hand it is very well written and contains a massive amount of information and knowledge For once a world history book is not entirely western centric and a focus on the Middle East South Asia and China runs through it with almost the same attention that goes into the Western European part However it falls short of covering much of the American civilisations or the Sub Saharan African onesHowever this is not why the book doesn't deserve to be rated very highly The reason is implicit in its very idea describing the history of war and peace of three millenia in six hundred fifty pages This has reduced it to a shallow and rapid description of the main events It was often that whole kingdoms and cultures were touched in a paragraph or two and history changing events in a few pages There was little space for analysis before the last chapter and much of the descirption of events cannot be retained in memory with the hectic pace of writingThis book along with a few works of fiction is what I would give the first arrivals of an alien culture when their first guests arrive to earth knowing nothing about us so they can have the short version of our history and start thinking of how to deal with us The conclusion would be useful for them as well peace is not the natural state of humans be weary of us and know that we will stab shoot or blow you for power or for money whenever we have the chance

  • Hardcover
  • 640 pages
  • APolitical History of the World
  • Jonathan Holslag
  • English
  • 24 November 2015
  • 9780241352045

About the Author: Jonathan Holslag

Works as a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders and teach international politics at the Free University Brussels His research focuses on the impact of China’s rise on global politics but he has also a strong interest in Europe’s position in the changing global order The Dutch version of his latest book How Europe Will Survive the Asian Century came out in 2014 His first


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