Why Nations Go To War.
Stoessinger goes through the largest wars of the 20th century and discusses the motivations and rationales of the world leaders that decided to turn against each other. Studying world history before, World War I has commonly been presented to me as being caused by large social factors like jingoism, the cult of the offensive, This is an informative and provocative book.
Studying world history before, World War I has commonly been presented to me as being caused by large social factors like jingoism, the cult of the offensive, secret alliances, and so on.
Stoessinger argues that the individual choices of the world's leaders were more important. With the power they had they could have decided against war but their advisers, misconceptions, and likewise convinced them to start fighting. This pattern repeats throughout the 20th century.
Some of these personal stories were fascinating to me. Stoessinger argues that wars are avoidable and that much of the ultimate responsibility lies with the leaders of the nations that go to war.
I agree that wars are avoidable and that history often emphasizes larger social factors as being the cause of inevitable conflicts.
However, I don't think the individual leaders are as important as Stoessinger says. Like Howard Dean, I don't believe in the great man theory of history. Even before democratic governments there were democratic societies.
The people had the power to rebel against their kings, emperors, etc. Leaders responded to what their people wanted, or at least what they thought they wanted to a certain degree.
The same is true of democratic governments. People sometimes talk about Hitler as if he were an evil man who came out of nowhere and seduced an innocent country with new ideas. I don't think any of Hitler's ideas were new. I think all of them existed in the social consciousness before and what Hitler brought to the table that no one else had was being a powerful orator.
But this wasn't enough for everybody. There was resistance in and out of the Third Reich. His rhetoric wasn't strong enough for him to take over the world. He lost the war. If Hitler had never been born, I think a somewhat less powerful orator would have taken his place.
Without the same allure perhaps he wouldn't have been as powerful or as arrogant and things would have turned out differently, but there would still be recognizable similarities.
If the German people hadn't had any of Hitler's ideas in mind before as possibilities, then I don't think so many of them would have taken to him as quickly and strongly as they did.
I think George W. Bush was a horrible president for lots of reasons. I don't support the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Certainly he played an important part of the decision making for both of these conflicts, but I don't think he was out of touch with the American people when doing so. Then with Iraq he acted in a paranoid, biased manner, ignoring what ran contrary to his ideas.Why Nations Go To War In John Stoessinger’s work on “Why Nations go to War” he examines ten wars that have occurred since and the one currently taking place today.
These wars include World War One, World War Two, Korean War, Vietnam War, Yugoslavian War, Indo-Pakistani War, Arab-Israel War, Iran-Iraq and Iraq-Kuwait War, War on. WHY NATIONS GO TO WAR is unique.
The reflections of author John G. Stoessinger are built around ten case studies and provide a deep analysis of the root causes of modern war, from from World War I 4/5(1).
WHY NATIONS GO TO WAR By John G. Stoessinger BOOK REVIEW: WHY NATIONS GO TO WAR is a unique book and a product of reflection by author, Dr. John G. Stoessinger First published in , its Eleventh Edition with additions came out in WHY NATIONS GO TO WAR is unique.
The reflections of author John G. Stoessinger are built around ten case studies and provide a deep analysis of the root causes of modern war, from from World War I /5(11).
This 11th edition of Why nations go to war analyses ten case studies covering major international wars.
The particular focus of each of the case studies turns upon the personalities of political. Why Nations Go to War. By John G. Stoessinger (New York, Bedford St. Martin's, ; 8th ed.) pp. $ Why Wars Happen. By Jeremy Black (New York, New York University Press, ) pp.
$ These two books attempt to take a new look at the age-old problem of war, thus adding to the.