War Machine: The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age

TitleWar Machine: The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsPick, Daniel
Number of Pages292
PublisherYale University Press
CityNew Haven, CT

This book examines Western perceptions of war in and beyond the nineteenth century, surveying the writings of novelists, anthropologists, psychiatrists, poets, natural scientists, and journalists to trace the origins of modern philosophies about the nature of war and conflict. The author compares philosophical and historical models of conflict with fictions of invasion and biological speculation about the nature and value of conquest. He discusses the work of such familiar commentators on war as Clausewitz, Engels, and von Bernhardi, and examines little-known writings by Proudhon, De Quincey, Ruskin, Valery, and many others. He explores nineteenth-century English fears of French contamination through the Channel Tunnel and the widespread continuing dread of German domination, and he analyzes the history of the widely-shared European belief that war is beneficial or at least functionally necessary. 

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