James H. McRandle portrays modern war, despite its dispassionate, computerized brutality, as a kind of ritual that resembles in many of its particulars the ritual of war as practiced since the earliest ages of humanity. But ritual is only one of the characteristics of the institution of war. Mythmaking, psychological techniques, social forces, instinctive responses to fear, and aggressiveness are all martialed and manipulated through ritual to serve war’s purposes.
Some of Mcrandle’s conclusions will be controversial, particularly his argument that warfare served to promote gene flow between separated and isolated groups of Homo erectus and early Homo Sapiens. Throughout, his novel approaches and use of eclectic intellectual perspectives will stimulate those concerned about the possible causes of war and war’s possible remedy.
About the Author
Published by Texas A&M University Press