Just and Unjust Wars

Just and Unjust Wars : A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations

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Just and Unjust Wars forever changed the way we think about the ethics of conflict. First published in 1977 and now brought up to the present with a new preface and postscript, this classic work by political philosopher Michael Walzer examines the moral issues that arise before, during, and after the wars we fight. Reaching from the Athenian attack on Melos, to the Mai Lai massacre, to Afghanistan and beyond, Walzer mines historical accounts and the testimony of participants, decision makers, and victims to explain when war is justified and what ethical limitations apply to those who wage it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 138 x 218 x 32mm | 420g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 5th edition
  • 0465052711
  • 9780465052714
  • 82,291

Table of contents

Preface to the Fifth Edition Preface to the First Edition Part One: The Moral Reality of War 1. Against "Realism" The Realist Argument The Melian Dialogue Strategy and Morality Historical Relativism Three Accounts of Agincourt 2. The Crime of War The Logic of War The Argument of Karl von Clausewitz The Limit of Consent The Tyranny of War General Sherman and the Burning of Atlanta 3. The Rules of War The Moral Equality of Soldiers The Case of Hitler's Generals Two Sorts of Rules The War Convention The Example of Surrender Part Two: The Theory of Aggression 4. Law and Order in International Society Aggression The Rights of Political Communities The Case of Alsace-Lorraine The Legalist Paradigm Unavoidable Categories Karl Marx and the Franco-Prussian War The Argument for Appeasement Czechoslovakia and the Munich Principle Finland 5. Anticipations Preventive War and the Balance of Power The War of the Spanish Succession Pre-emptive Strikes The Six Day War 6. Interventions Self-Determination and Self-Help The Argument of John Stuart Mill Secession The Hungarian Revolution Civil War The American War in Vietnam Humanitarian Intervention Cuba, 1898, and Bangladesh, 1971 7. War's Ends, and the Importance of Winning Unconditional Surrender Allied Policy in World War II Justice in Settlements The Korean War Part Three: The War Convention 8. War's Means and the Importance of Fighting Well Utility and Proportionality The Argument of Henry Sidgwick Human Rights The Rape of the Italian Women 9. Noncombatant Immunity and Military Necessity The Status of Individuals Naked Soldiers The Nature of Necessity (1) Submarine Warfare: The Laconia Affair Double Effect Bombardment in Korea The Bombing of Occupied France and the Vemork Raid 10. War Against Civilians: Sieges and Blockades Coercion and Responsibility The Siege of Jerusalem, 72 A.D. The Right to Leave The Siege of Leningrad Taking Aim and the Doctrine of Double Effect The British Blockade of Germany 11. Guerrilla War Resistance to Military Occupation A Partisan Attack The Rights of Guerrilla Fighters The Rights of Civilian Supporters The American "Rules of Engagement" in Vietnam 12. Terrorism The Political Code The Russian Populists, the IRA, and the Stern Gang The Vietcong Assassination Campaign Violence and Liberation Jean-Paul Sartre and the Battle of Algiers 13. Reprisals Deterrence Without Retribution The FFI Prisoners at Annecy The Problem of Peacetime Reprisals The Attack on Khibye and the Beirut Raid Part Four: Dilemmas of War 14. Winning and Fighting Well "Asinine Ethics" Chairman Mao and the Battle of the River Hung The Sliding Scale and the Argument from Extremity 15. Aggression and Neutrality The Right to Be Neutral The Nature of Necessity (2) The Rape of Belgium The Sliding Scale Winston Churchill and Norwegian Neutrality 16. Supreme Emergency The Nature of Necessity (3) Overriding the Rules of War The Decision to Bomb German Cities The Limits of Calculation Hiroshima 17 Nuclear Deterrence The Problem of Immoral Threats Limited Nuclear War The Argument of Paul Ramsey Part Five: The Question of Responsibility 18. The Crime of Aggression: Political Leaders and Citizens The World of Officials Nuremberg: "The Ministries Case" Democratic Responsibilities The American People and the War in Vietnam 19. War Crimes: Soldiers and Their Officers In the Heat of Battle Two Accounts of Killing Prisoners Superior Orders The My Lai Massacre Command Responsibility General Bradley and the Bombing of St. Lo The Case of General Yamashita The Nature of Necessity (4) The Dishonoring of Arthur Harris Conclusion Afterword: Nonviolence and the Theory of War Postscript: A Defense of Just War Theory
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Review Text

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #454545} "A magnificent book, an honor to its writer...a book that makes for a return of civilized discussion of the question of the morality of war."- p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #454545} New York Review of Books
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Review quote

"A clear, humane, and startingly original survey of the moral issues that complicate modern war-making."--Atlantic "One of the most significant modern restatements of just-war thinking."-- Nation "A classic in the field."-- New York Times "A passionate defense of the old principle of non-combatant immunity.... [Walzer] is both thorough and persuasive in his exploration of a very intricate subject."-- Washington Post "A magnificent book, an honor to its writer...a book that makes for a return of civilized discussion of the question of the morality of war."-- New York Review of Books
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About Michael Walzer

Michael Walzer is professor emeritus of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, and the author of many widely heralded books, including Spheres of Injustice, Exodus and Revolution, and The Company of Critics.
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Rating details

1,980 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 27% (544)
4 38% (751)
3 23% (456)
2 5% (105)
1 6% (124)
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