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

Contents

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?
Notes
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Peter Turchin is an evolutionary anthropologist and one of the founders of the new field of historical social science, Cliodynamics (peterturchin.com/cliodynamics/). His research interests lie at the intersection of social and cultural evolution, historical macrosociology, economic history and cliometrics, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. Peter Turchin is a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, a research associate in the School of Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and the vice president of the Evolution Institute. More information is available at peterturchin.com.

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