The End of War
Hardcover · 224 Pages
$22.00 U.S. · £14.99 U.K. · €15.99 E.U.
War is a fact of human nature. As long as we exist, it exists. That's how the argument goes.
But longtime … More
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But longtime Scientific American writer John Horgan disagrees. Applying the scientific method to war leads Horgan to a radical conclusion: biologically speaking, we are just as likely to be peaceful as violent. War is not preordained, and furthermore, it should be thought of as a solvable, scientific problem — like curing cancer. But war and cancer differ in at least one crucial way: whereas cancer is a stubborn aspect of nature, war is our creation. It's our choice whether to unmake it or not.
In this compact, methodical treatise, Horgan examines dozens of examples and counterexamples — discussing chimpanzees and bonobos, warring and peaceful indigenous people, the World War I and Vietnam, Margaret Mead and General Sherman — as he finds his way to war's complicated origins. Horgan argues for a far-reaching paradigm shift with profound implications for policy students, ethicists, military men and women, teachers, philosophers, or really, any engaged citizen.
— Nicholson Baker
Winsomely and persuasively, John Horgan suggests that the world may be headed toward peace. This book is straightforward, drawing on the best scientific evidence available, examining the writings of the best scholars on both sides of these issues. Horgan believes human destiny is not predetermined. Human choices matter. We are encouraged not because of pious idealistic hopes, but because the best evidence demonstrates that the prospects for peace are eminently realistic.
— Dr. James C. Juhnke
This is a heartfelt and important book, one that largely succeeds: at least, in making its point. Whether it is comparably successful in its deeper goal — changing peoples' minds — is another matter, although let's hope that it is.
— David Barash, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Dialogue like that Horgan has opened here, in my opinion, is where the best pragmatic solutions are likely to emerge.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
Praise for The End of Science
[In this] intellectually bracing, sweepingly reported, often brilliant and sometimes bullying book, John Horgan makes the powerful case that the best and most exciting scientific discoveries are behind us.
— New York Times Book Review, front page review
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