Chapter 1: Introduction
Are there two bigger topics than civilization and war? There might well be, but they are up there near the top of the list. That being the case, a lot has been written about civilization, likewise, a lot has been written about war. Less has been written about civilization and war as a single, interrelated topic, although as the quote from William Eckhardt suggests, some have found the relationship intriguing and worth exploring. There is a rather lengthy eight-part documentary, War and Civilization, based on the work of the military historian John Keegan and narrated by Walter Cronkite, but it is really more about war than civilization. There is also Arnold Toynbee’s short book, War and Civilization, which is not exactly a book dedicated to the topic of war and civilization, rather it is a series of essays extracted from his multi-volume Study of History that happen to touch on the topic. Civilization is a topic I think I know a bit about, I believe I even have some firsthand experience of it; war is a topic that I am less familiar with and thankfully have no real life experience of. This book is all about the close relationship between civilization and war; in large part it explores the nature of that relationship as variously alluded to in the four pithy epigraphs at the front of this book.