THE COMING OF WAR by Albert Z. Carr


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With the War of 1812 as his base of operations, the author of this detailed book, an economist, historian, corporation consultant and author of many similar books and articles, here presents a detailed study of the causes of war and the means by which future wars may be prevented. The volume deals in part with the same era as that covered by Chancellor Robert R. Livingston. (see p. 836) Stating that the causes of war lie in the leaders of the countries involved and that ""at the root of war is man's reluctance to face and adjust to reality"", the author illustrates his thesis with an account of how America, as in 1917 and 1941, was sucked into a vortex of European conflict, the wars between France and England of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This road to war, however, was a long one. France sent the incredible Genet to pull America into war, and in the X.Y.Z. affair demanded bribes as surety against attack; England incited Indian attacks on American settlers and impressed American seamen; both countries made and broke treaties, but because of the wisdom of men such as Jefferson and Hamilton, these things did not lead to war. In 1812 Madison, less wise, made the unhappy decision of declaring war on England, exactly why no one knows today, but it was a war that could have been avoided; in a long final chapter on ""conclusions"" the author, pointing to this far from inspiring conflict, pleads for a better understanding of the causes of war on the part of today's statesmen. This scholarly volume should be required reading for U.N. delegates, cabinet ministers, Congressmen and presidential candidates, but because of its unfortunately heavy- handed style it will probably find its chief appeal among students and teachers of early American political and economic history and of modern politics.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday