Civil war plagues our times. As David Armitage notes in his brilliant work, Civil Wars: A History in Ideas, the idea of the ‘Long Peace’ after the Second World War is in many ways misleading as intrastate conflict has become far more common than in previous centuries.
Since London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, world’s fairs and international expositions have been an important global cultural phenomenon that has defined progress and modernity for hundreds of millions of visitors.
The Cold War, understandably, was for a long time viewed through a prism of the confrontation between the Soviet Union, it allies and the United States-led West. Conflicts, even in what used to be termed the Third World, were often described as proxy wars.
One might be forgiven for thinking that British defence policy between the Napoleonic era and the outbreak of the First World War was always geared towards a large, continental commitment.
This is an extremely ambitious, thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring book.
Media, with alarming regularity, reports nuclear threats from North Korea and President Trump’s rhetorical belligerency; Russian and Chinese irredentism conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, across the Sahel region of Africa and Yemen; not to forget the asymmentry of terrorism. Is there any consolation to be had in philosophy for the cultural phenomenon of war?