War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires

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Penguin, Feb 27, 2007 - History - 416 pages
4 Reviews
Like Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Peter Turchin in War and Peace and War uses his expertise in evolutionary biology to make a highly original argument about the rise and fall of empires.

Turchin argues that the key to the formation of an empire is a society’s capacity for collective action. He demonstrates that high levels of cooperation are found where people have to band together to fight off a common enemy, and that this kind of cooperation led to the formation of the Roman and Russian empires, and the United States. But as empires grow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, conflict replaces cooperation, and dissolution inevitably follows. Eloquently argued and rich with historical examples, War and Peace and War offers a bold new theory about the course of world history.


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User Review  - Urquhart - LibraryThing

War and Peace and War –The Life Cycle of Imperial Nations by Peter Turchin This wonderful book receives four out of five stars. It is wonderful in its breadth and depth of material covered, and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - abuannie - LibraryThing

Great Britain was arguably the largest empire ever created, but Turchin doesn't discuss it at all (1 sentence). Why? It doesn't conform to his thesis of empire formation along metaethnic boundaries. Read full review


Title Page
Life on the Edge
Slaughter in the Forest
Asabiya in the Desert
The Myth of Self Interest
Born to Be Wolves
A Medieval Black Hole
The Other Side of the Wheel of Fortune
A New Idea of Renaissance
The Matthew Principle
Wheels Within Wheels
War and Peace and Particles
The End of Empire?

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About the author (2007)

Peter Turchin is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of the technical work "Historical Dynamics," in which he presents the statistical data behind the grand theory developed in "War and Peace and War,

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