War and Peace and War: The Life Cycles of Imperial Nations

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Pi Press, 2006 - History - 405 pages
Why do some nations, initially small and insignificant, go on to build mighty empires, while most nations fail to do so? And why do those successful empire-builders always eventually lose their empires? Peter Turchin, a leading thinker in the highly technical field of population dynamics, lucidly presents for the first time an approach to understanding the world's great powers throughout history--with powerful implications for nations today. Turchin shows how the edges of empires are the crucibles of new long-lived empires and how processes of decline inevitably follow on a 1000 year cycle. This sweeping work of social science culminates with a crisp declaration of the general principles of the science of history. A short final section considers Tolstoy and free will in a world of historical cycles, and includes an incisive look at the U.S. now.

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User Review  - Urquhart - LibraryThing

War and Peace and War –The Life Cycle of Imperial Nations by Peter Turchin This wonderful book receives four out of five stars. It is wonderful in its breadth and depth of material covered, and ... Read full review

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User Review  - abuannie - LibraryThing

Great Britain was arguably the largest empire ever created, but Turchin doesn't discuss it at all (1 sentence). Why? It doesn't conform to his thesis of empire formation along metaethnic boundaries. Read full review


List of Maps
A Band of Adventurers Defeats a Kingdom
Life on the Edge

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About the author (2006)

Peter Turchin is Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Mathematics at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of the technical work HISTORICAL DYNAMICS which presents the statistical data and math behind the sweeping arguments he makes in WAR AND PEACE AND WAR.

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