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« Maybe "The Watchmen" had it wrong | Main | Tibetans + quake + collapsed schools = Beijing scrambling to look responsive »
12:34AM

WPR's The New Rules: Life, Death and the 20th Century

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Most people look back upon the 20th century as the deadliest in human history, with scholarly estimates suggesting that close to 200 million people died in all the wars, revolutions, genocides and totalitarian purges of those bloody decades. As a result, we regard the entire century as the age of total war, even though we have not experienced great-power war since 1945. Even more telling, state-based war almost completely disappeared as the century drew to a close, leaving us with primarily civil strife, failed states, and the transnational bad actors they both spawn.

Read the rest here at World Politics Review.

As for the book I review in the piece:

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Reader Comments (6)

A tremendous article and, I would hope, an antidote for much of the anti-American sentiment out there in the world. I particularly find your perspective on nuclear weapons refreshing. It is rare for anyone to ever even attempt to defend the presence of these weapons, but you do so quite well.

This is a major reason why I think that the "Global Zero" movement is not only naive, but may well be immoral in many ways.
April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg R. Lawson
Infant mortality drags the average age at death way, way down, so it's not so much that we live longer, but that so many more babies make it past that first year.
April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTEJ
Just a quibble about Rachel Carson and DDT, since I have argued about this in the past with right-wingers who try to use the argument to demonize environmental protection laws. I don't think anyone has seriously challenged the science concerning the harmful side effects of DDT. The only issue is whether those side effects are outweighed by the efficacy of DDT in eradicating mosquitoes where malaria is a problem. Contrary to what is often asserted, the US ban on DDT applies only domestically (where malaria is not a problem) and USAID does not categorically oppose DDT spraying in connection with containment of malaria. Some countries have adopted the US ban on DDT and believe that other means of mosquito eradication are more effective without the side effects. Mosquito resistance to DDT is also an issue, something that Carson actually anticipated. Many African countries weigh the balance the other way and continue to support DDT. While the scientific discoveries listed are undoubtedly impressive, it would be Pollyanaish to ignore the fact that many scientific advancements - such as DDT - come with side effects.
April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstuart abrams
As a retired physician, this is something i heard everyday. Despite phenomenal progress in heart disease, infectious disease, CPR, Obstetrics, etc.most people are fixated on the 'uninsured.' Many, but not all, know to go to the emergency rooms, and get treated for free.(we called them cash accounts)
April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjerry pick
Wow! TPMB optimisim at your very best. A great example of the half empty glass. I expect Billy Woodward's book to be as good your review. Thanks for alerting us.
April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElmer Humes
Have a friend who manages reference desk a library who thanked me for referring this book, saying she could use it often. Have friends in three library systems who I am encouraging to order the book.
April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick O'Connor

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