A compelling and entertaining work of scholarship, Why We Fight is a biological exploration into the evolutionary crux of human conflict. After completing his studies in biology at Oxford, Mike Martin served as a British Army officer in Afghanistan, where the people he met and the things he saw prompted him to dive deep into the human psyche in an attempt to find the root of violence and warfare. Why We Fight chronicles his research, examining popular theories such as vengeance and religion that he argues are but smoke and mirrors concealing a simple, universal cause: the evolutionary drive to achieve status and belonging. Well-researched but approachable, Martin lays out his case in succinct chapters before summarizing key takeaways in a digestible conclusion. A postscript supplies a hopeful notion for the future before giving way to a veritable library of sources, sure to keep the more academically inclined occupied with further reading for many hours to come. Science with a twist, Why We Fight is essential reading for the scholar, the war buff, and the simply curious.
Why We Fight, Mike Martin, Hurst Publishers, Hardcover $29.95 (328pp) 978-1-84904-889-7