First published in 1909, The Great Illusion sets out to answer one of the greatest questions in human history: Why is there war? Specifically, Angell wishes to discuss why there is war between the countries of Europe, which seem to always be at one another's throats. Angell refutes the belief that military power results in greater wealth and instead proposes that advanced economies based on trade and contract law can only generate value in the absence of military upset. War destroys any wealth that conquerors may have wanted to obtain, making the whole enterprise pointless. A deep understanding of this would, then, end the need for war. Students of history, political science, and peace studies will find much to ponder and much to argue with in this classic text.
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