As Promised

A brief note on War and Our World by John Keegan. The book itself is merely a collection of lectures delivered by Keegan on the topic on which he is expert, war. He does have interesting things to say about war and military history and the future of warfare, but I think he is altogether too sanguine about the capability of humanity to dispense with war entirely. While it is indeed the first duty of the strong to protect the weak, this of course presupposes that there is something from which to protect the weak; there will always be those who use their strength to oppress those weaker than they. The universal problem with such books as this, however, is length. Because it is less than 100 pages, and because it is taken entirely from four or five spoken lectures, it necessarily is briefer than a book, originally conceived as a book, would be. Thus, because of the brevity, the support given to various arguments (and, indeed, the number of arguments brought to bear) are also of necessity lessened. Well worth reading, however, for someone looking for an introduction to Keegan’s ideas, less so for someone like myself who already has a shelf of his books.

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