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The Shortest History of War
From Hunter-Gatherers to Nuclear Superpowers - A Retelling for Our Times
by Gwynne Dyer

Shortest History of War, The

ISBN: 9781770866812

Format: Trade Paperback
Size: 5.125" x 7.75"


HIS027000 HISTORY / Military / General

HIS027130 HISTORY / Wars & Conflicts / General

POL001000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Arms Control

Price: $22.95


Publication Date: August 2, 2022

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Acclaimed historian and military expert Gwynne Dyer tells the story of war from its earliest origins up to the present age of atom bombs and algorithms.


Dyer chronicles the advent of warfare in the first cities; the rise of inequality and tyranny as humans multiply; the thousand-year classical era of combat until the firearm and the Thirty Years’ War, which changed everything. He traces how the brief interlude of limited war before the popular revolutions of the eighteenth century ushered in “total war” — and how the devastation was halted by the shock of Hiroshima.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has punctured the longest stretch of peace between major powers since WWII. In a technologically advanced and hyper-connected world, we humans find ourselves in a most precarious position: under the heightened threats of climate change, nuclear war, and superpower rivalry. Far from another dry military history, The Shortest History of War synthesizes research from multiple fields of study and journalism into a highly readable, fast-paced, and enlightening read for anyone who wants to understand the role of war in the long human story — and how we can stop it from dominating our future.


“From the first armies to clashes of drones and dirty bombs, this is eye-opening, big-picture stuff.”

BBC History Magazine


“Readable and sharp … does what it says on the tin.”



“Dyer writes with eloquence and authority … particularly effective in painting in broad strokes the evolution of warfare.”

Irish Examiner

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