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This fascinating 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. 'This is a clever, interesting, and in many ways learned book.' John Keegan, Sunday Telegraph 'In a brilliant work of cultural analysis, Pick has mined some curious disparate areas and been rewarded with remarkable material for study.' Observer 'Profound ...A fascinating book.' Martin Pawley, Guardian 'Continuously intelligent and concerned, cogently argued, well-informed ...I fear this excellent book will always be timely.' Tony Tanner, European 'Pick, in his timely new study of how war came to be justified in the 20th century, provides a hundred reasons why no country should ever get involved in fighting.' Walter Ellis, Times 'An original, eclectic and personal study ...Pick has cast his net widely to survey a broad sample of political, literary, economic and psychological works of Europe's most important thinkers and writers.' Choice Daniel Pick is reader in history at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.