Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War
ISBN: 0374173702
EAN13: 9780374173708
Language: English
Publication Date: Sep 7, 2021
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover

Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War

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Book Overview

A prominent historian exposes the dark side of making war more humane

In the years since 9/11, we have entered an age of endless war. With little debate or discussion, the United States carries out military operations around the globe. It hardly matters who's president or whether liberals or conservatives operate the levers of power. The United States exercises dominion everywhere.

In Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, Samuel Moyn asks a troubling but urgent question: What if efforts to make war more ethical--to ban torture and limit civilian casualties--have only shored up the military enterprise and made it sturdier? To advance this case, Moyn looks back at a century and a half of passionate arguments about the ethics of using force. In the nineteenth century, the founders of the Red Cross struggled mightily to make war less lethal even as they acknowledged its inevitability. Leo Tolstoy prominently opposed their efforts, reasoning that war needed to be abolished, not reformed--and over the subsequent century, a popular movement to abolish war flourished on both sides of the Atlantic. Eventually, however, reformers shifted their attention from opposing the crime of war to opposing war crimes, with fateful consequences.

The ramifications of this shift became apparent in the post-9/11 era. By that time, the Read More chevron_right

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