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Politics and War

Politics and War

European Conflict from Philip II to Hitler, Enlarged Edition

David Kaiser

ISBN 9780674002722

Publication date: 05/19/2000

David Kaiser looks at four hundred years of modern European history to find the political causes of general war in four distinct periods (1559–1659, 1661–1713, 1792–1815, and 1914–1945). He shows how war became a natural function of politics, a logical consequence of contemporary political behavior. Rather than fighting simply to expand, states in each war fought for specific political and economic reasons. The book illustrates the extraordinary power of politics and war in modern Western civilization, if not in history as a whole.

In a provocative and original new preface and chapter, Kaiser shows which aspects of four past areas of conflict do, and do not, seem relevant to the immediate future, and he sketches out some new possibilities for Europe.


  • Praise for the previous edition:
    This is an ambitious book which takes a large subject and tackles it boldly...A stimulating book which spurs its readers to consider wide and difficult issues and deserves to be widely read.

    —M. S. Anderson, International History Review


  • David Kaiser is an independent scholar.

Book Details

  • 448 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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