Author(s): James J. Sheehan
Since 1945, the European states which had previously glamorised their military elites, and made going to war the highest expression of patriotism, have renounced violence as a way of settling their disputes. Violence has been eclipsed as a tool of statesmen. This astonishing reversal is the subject of James Sheehan's masterly book. It is also a timely reminder of the differences between Europe and America, at a time when the USA is asserting its right and duty to make war for ideological or self-interested ends. And how Europeans will live in this dangerous, violent world is a question that becomes ever more urgent as the chaos in the Middle East affects the stability of societies with open frontiers and liberal traditions.
The Monopoly of Violence: Why Europeans Hate Going to War by James Sheehan is the story of war and peace in twentieth-century Europe - and how the first came to be dominated by the second.
James J. Sheehan served as president of the American Historical Association in 2005. He is Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History at Stanford University.