Two big-picture histories this week ...

David Edgerton. The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. An anti-heroic history of technology, which bids fair to puncture assumptions that higher tech necessarily is better tech, or that the rate of technological change is ever-increasing (take that, singularitarians!) Or so I gather from a quick skim.

Azar Gat. War in Human Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. I'm ashamed to say I still haven't read his Fascist and Liberal Visions of War. This new one looks at the evolutionary roots of war, and the way in which technology and culture have (overall) limited the incidence of war more recently, and tackles many other big questions along the way. Or so I gather from a quick skim.

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