Beyond War

Beyond War : The Human Potential for Peace

3.75 (41 ratings by Goodreads)
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A profoundly heartening view of human nature, Beyond War offers a hopeful prognosis for a future without war. Douglas P. Fry convincingly argues that our ancient ancestors were not innately warlike-and neither are we. He points out that, for perhaps ninety-nine percent of our history, for well over a million years, humans lived in nomadic hunter-and-gatherer groups, egalitarian bands where warfare was a rarity. Drawing on archaeology and fascinating recent fieldwork on hunter-gatherer bands from around the world, Fry debunks the idea that war is ancient and inevitable. For instance, among Aboriginal Australians, warfare was an extreme anomaly. Fry also points out that even today, when war seems ever present, the vast majority of us live peaceful, nonviolent lives. We are not as warlike as we think, and if we can learn from our ancestors, we may be able to move beyond war to provide real justice and security for the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 362.87g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 16 black and white halftone, 4 line illustrations
  • 019538461X
  • 9780195384611
  • 1,095,885

Review quote

"This is a passionate book containing a tidy account of systems of war and peace."--New Scientist "This book offers a refreshing and timely look at the evidence that we have warfare in our genes. Clearly, the assumptions of those who argue this position exceed the facts. Using anthropological data, Fry argues forcefully that our species has not only a strong desire for peace, but also plenty of ways to achieve it."--Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape "If you believe humanity is doomed to war, read this book. If you want to convince others that it is not, read this book. Fry does two very important things in Beyond War. He shows that humans are not innately warlike and are fully capable of living in peace. And he shows how past scholarship has been biased by an assumption of a 'beast within.' His magisterial tour of the evidence is clear, sensible, and entertaining."--Brian Ferguson, author of Yanomami Warfare: A Political History "Few questions are as controversial and consequential as whether war is 'natural.' In this important book, Fry does a fine job of demystifying the argument, while making a strong case for optimism. Human nature is a slippery thing, a concept often misused, yet crucial to understanding our past, present, and future. Beyond War will help scholar and lay-person alike to grasp hold."--David P. Barash, author of Madame Bovary's Ovaries: A Dawinian Look at Literature"An important and timely volume, [Beyond War ] a valuable addition to the perennial debates on warfare."--American Anthropologistshow more

About Douglas P. Fry

Douglas P. Fry teaches in the Faculty of Social and Caring Sciences at Abo Akademi University in Finland and is an adjunct research scientist in the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona. A renowned anthropologist and a leading authority on aggression and conflict resolution, he has worked in this field for over twenty-five years and has published many articles and books on this more

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Rating details

41 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 24% (10)
4 32% (13)
3 39% (16)
2 5% (2)
1 0% (0)
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