This books is written in a form of letters from "Uncle Eric" to his nephew explaining to him the origins of World War 1 and how it affects us today. So yes, it is meant for someone younger than me to be reading, but I still found it interesting and not too young.
"Uncle Eric" begins by talking about the ten deadly idea that lead to war.
1. The Pax Romana (The belief that we can create the Roman Peace, which never really existed.)
2. Fascism (Unification of everyone under a single government that does whatever is necessary, no limits.)
3. Love of Political Power (War is the most exciting tool of power seekers.)
4. Global Protection (The belief that a government has the duty or right to protect its citizens no matter where they choose to go or what risk they choose to take.)
5. Interests (Do not even try to figure this one out, leaders have gone to war for centuries in the "interest" of their holdings or people, but nobody has ever legally defined interests...)
6. Cost Externalization (Big business using the global protection stance of a government to cover protection costs.)
7. Manifest Destiny (Because we think that God has given us that charge.)
8. The White Man's Burden or Anglo-Saxonism (America knows what is best, we can decide, even for others.)
9. Alliances (Safety in numbers can mean that we have to fight somebody else's war.)
10. The Glory of War (We need heroes, it is a very real reason...)He also delved back to our founding fathers and George Washington's statement that we should never get into other countries' wars and how getting into the Spanish American War led up to getting into the World Wars. It is a little difficult to explain as it is very complex but I would highly recommend that you read this book to help you understand more of our history as it is making a very real impact on America's current situation in the middle east. It definitely challenged my beliefs and made me rethink a lot of things I had previously supposed about the wars. I'm hoping to read his book about World War II sometime soon to see his opinion on it.
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