The End of War
John Horgan, The End of War (San Francisco: McSweeney’s, 2011)
I think that this is an important book. Perhaps the reason that I found the book so hopeful is that as a religious pacifist, I am predisposed to agree with some of Horgan’s arguments. But my reaction comes from something more. Horgan resists the urge to make simplistic arguments. As a science writer, he has made a thorough study of the existing literature and has taken the time to understand theories that are different from his own. After extensive study of the history of war and theorists about the nature of humans and war, Horman has come to the conclusion that war is not endemic to human nature or necessary to human survival. He realizes that his opinion is not that of the major and therefore makes his presentation carefully so those who disagree might be engaged in thinking differently.
In a world that seems to be plagued by perpetual violence and continual conflict, it is refreshing to read a book that proposes that nonviolence is frequently the best response and that humanity is moving down a course that leads away from war as a way of resolving disagreement.
I highly recommend the book. I’m going to find a group of colleagues to read it and provide me with additional discussion and feedback. As I said, I think it is important. Time will tell.