We've got some all-star picks for today's #FridayReads:
WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots by Ian Morris
“War!.... / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing,” says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, Morris argues that war has made humanity safer and richer.
“Drawing on the work of Jared Diamond and Steven Pinker and myriads of others, Morris relentlessly develops his thesis, which never decreases in discomfort, though it does become more convincing. A disturbing, transformative text that veers toward essential reading.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“...erudite yet compulsively readable... Throughout this rare mixture of scholarship, stunning insight, and wit, Morris cites the widely divergent opinions of past philosophers and scholars, and, though he makes his case convincingly, future (and, oh yes, the future is projected) students, readers, and critics of this book are likely to continue the fascinating argument Morris raises here. WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? appeals to (indeed, may broaden) the large audience that has made Jared Diamond’s GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL, much quoted in it, a modern classic and should join it on personal and library bookshelves.” — Booklist, starred review
LIFE OF THE AUTOMOBILE by Steven Parissien
The first all-encompassing narrative history of how the car—and the flamboyant entrepreneurs, shrewd businessmen, and gifted engineers behind it—shaped the world.
“This elegant and authoritative work demonstrates the historical links among people, machines, and cultures on a global scale. For readers who enjoy investigations into social, intellectual, business, technological, or transportation history—as well as dedicated car buffs.” — Library Journal, starred review
“From the Ford Model T to the Chevrolet Volt, Parissien covers every detail, including the sketchy safety and environmental record and a nod to the future of green technology.” — Booklist, starred review