Start: 7:30 pm
Credit: Linda A Cicero Stanford News Service Ian MorrisWednesday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots “War! . . . . / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing,” says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, war has made humanity safer and richer. Renowned historian and archaeologist Ian Morris tells the gruesome, gripping story of fifteen thousand years of war, going beyond the battles and brutality to reveal what war has really done to and for the world. War has been history’s greatest paradox, but this searching study suggests that the next half century is going to be the most dangerous of all time. If we can survive it, the age-old dream of ending war may yet come to pass. But, Morris argues, only if we understand what war has been good for can we know where it will take us next. “Perhaps you think that you already know everything about the history of all peoples on all the continents for the last 15,000 years. Even if you do, you’ll still get a fresh perspective from this thought-provoking book. With this volume and his previous Why the West Rules—for Now, Ian Morris has established himself as a leader in making big history interesting and understandable.” —Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.