Atrocitology: Humanity's 100 Deadliest Achievements

Atrocitology: Humanity's 100 Deadliest Achievements

Matthew White

Language: English

Pages: 687

ISBN: 0857861220

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Was the twentieth century the most violent in history? Are religions or tyrants, capitalism or communism the cause of most human suffering? Has violence increased or decreased over the course of history? In this wholly original and remarkably ambitious work, 'Atrocitologist' Matthew White considers man's inhumanity to man across several thousand years of history. From the First Punic War and the collapse of Mayan rule, to the reign of Peter the Great and the cataclysmic events of the Second World War, White's epic book spans centuries and civilisations as it measures the hundred most violent events in human history. While sceptical of any grand theory for the causes of human violence, White does share three big lessons gleaned from his careful statistical analysis: one, chaos is more deadly than tyranny; two, the world is even more disorganised than we realise; and three, wars kill more civilians than soldiers (in fact, the army is usually the safest place to be). If we study history to avoid the mistakes of the past, then there can be no more important place to start than this eye-opening and entertaining book.

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outside of Europe, but for someone who never got any further than the Mediterranean basin, he caused disruptions on a global scale. The Western Hemisphere was almost totally transformed by the career of a man who never even set foot there. The French occupation of Spain left the Spanish colonies in America adrift. Forced to look after themselves while Spain was in turmoil, they resisted when the restored Spanish monarchy tried to reassert control. It took a decade of bloody colonial wars, but

the party. Only the most indestructible, hard-hearted, and dedicated revolutionaries survived the Long March, and these formed the core around which the movement would grow again. With these people in charge, there would be no half measures or compromise. Sino-Japanese War In 1937, Mao wrote On Guerrilla Warfare, the textbook every insurgent movement studies for lessons on how to defeat overwhelming force: “In guerrilla warfare, select the tactic of seeming to come from the east and attacking

Failures in China in August 1975,” (accessed March 14, 2011). 19. Chang and Halliday, Mao, pp. 453–457. 20. Margolin, “China,” in Courtois et al., Black Book of Communism, p. 546. 21. Chirot, Modern Tyrants, p. 197. 22. Meisner, Mao’s China and After, p. 313; Chang and Halliday, Mao, pp. 505–506. 23. Chang and Halliday, Mao, p. 517. 24. Ibid., here. 25. Spence, Search for Modern China, p. 606. 26. Chirot, Modern Tyrants, p. 205. 27. Ibid.,

agree to the marriage for political expediency. Placidia agreed, but Valentinian was furious. It took all of Placidia’s influence just to talk him out of killing his sister for the trouble she had caused; however, both Placidia and Theodosius II died about this time, which left the final decision to Valentinian, who would have nothing to do with any such union. Honoria was married to a minor Roman and exiled; she disappears from history after this.6 Unfortunately Attila was not so easy to

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