‘The Future of War: A History’ could be a bit more forward-looking

The saying “all is fair in love and war” has passed into platitude, but it’s true that with romance as well as bloodshed, we prepare for the next one mainly by worrying about the mistakes of the last conflict.

Lawrence Freedman’s The Future of War: A History is only about the more martial of the two human endeavors, but there’s a lot to love in it.

Across 287 pages of prose, Freedman’s book is part retro-futurism, part dissertation on the difficulties of determining what actually is a war and who died in one, and, finally, part looking forward at the sort of armed conflicts yet to come.

It doesn’t all fit together seamlessly, or read equally engagingly, but Freedman shows his homework regardless of topic, and there’s an additional 45 pages of notes and 28 pages just devoted to bibliography if warfare of the recent past, present, and future pique your interest.

For non-specialists, the most enjoyable portion is, thankfully, the first bit.

Continue reading ‘The Future of War: A History’ could be a bit more forward-looking

Advertisements

‘Civilization Does Not Civilize’ – or barbarize, either

If we pretend that culture and art are the hammers they were never meant to be, very soon we will arrive at a point which says other ideas and the people who hold them are wrong, then inferior, then dangerous, and finally as subhuman or not fit to live—or at least unfit to live around us, some illusory sense of social or culture “purity” now the goal.

Tim Miller at word and silence

I disagree with your premise. In a 2001: A Space Odyssey’ sense, we’re always trying to rid ourselves of the tribe the next hill over. Baboons and chimpanzees don’t need art criticism to break open the bones of rivals and suck out marrow in victory.

Continue reading ‘Civilization Does Not Civilize’ – or barbarize, either

The future is bright, unfortunately

Reading books is a wonderful thing, and something no one seems to do as much as they want, myself included.

Imagine if we read things the way we eat.

Continue reading The future is bright, unfortunately