War and Peace and War
The Rise and Fall of Empires
Like Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Peter Turchin in War and Peace and War uses his expertise in evolutionary biology to make a highly original argument about the rise and fall of empires.
Turchin argues that the key to the formation of an empire is a societys capacity for collective action. He demonstrates that high levels of cooperation are found where people have to band together to fight off a common enemy, and that this kind of cooperation led to the formation of the Roman and Russian empires, and the United States. But as empires grow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, conflict replaces cooperation, and dissolution inevitably follows. Eloquently argued and rich with historical examples, War and Peace and War offers a bold new theory about the course of world history.
Part I. ImperiogenesisThe Rise of Empires
1. A Band of Adventurers Defeats a Kingdom
2. Life on the Edge
3. Slaughter in the Forest
4. Asabiya in the Desert
5. The Myth of Self-Interest
6. Born to Be Wolves
7. A Medieval Black Hole
Part II. ImperiopathosisThe Fall of Empires
8. The Other Side of the Wheel of Fortune
9. A New Idea of Renaissance
10. The Matthew Principle
11. Wheels Within Wheels
Part III. CliodynamicsA New Kind of History
12. War and Peace and Particles
13. The Bowling Alley in History
14. The End of Empire?
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