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John Gittings's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books John Gittings recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of John Gittings's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Confronting the Bomb tells the dramatic, inspiring story of how citizen activism helped curb the nuclear arms race and prevent nuclear war. This abbreviated version of Lawrence Wittner's award-winning trilogy, The Struggle Against the Bomb, shows how a worldwide, grassroots campaign—the largest social movement of modern times—challenged the nuclear priorities of the great powers and, ultimately, thwarted their nuclear ambitions. Based on massive research in the files of peace and disarmament organizations and in formerly top secret government records, extensive interviews with... more
Recommended by John Gittings, and 1 others.

John GittingsThis is an abbreviated version of Lawrence Wittner’s major work of scholarship in three volumes, Struggle Against the Bomb, from the 1940s to the present day. It is both a work of record, describing the anti-nuclear movement in countries around the world, and an argument that governments were compelled to listen to the voice of public opinion even when they pretended not to. In the 1950s, for... (Source)

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The classic opening scene of 2001, A Space Odyssey shows an ape-man wreaking havoc with humanity's first invention--a bone used as a weapon to kill a rival. It's an image that fits well with popular notions of our species as inherently violent, with the idea that humans are--and always have been--warlike by nature. But as Douglas P. Fry convincingly argues in Beyond War, the facts show that our ancient ancestors were not innately warlike--and neither are we.
Fry points out that, for perhaps ninety-nine percent of our history, for well over a million years, humans...
Recommended by John Gittings, and 1 others.

John GittingsDouglas Fry says it is rather strange that many academics in the field of social anthropology seem to fall over themselves in order to stress the combative and aggressive features of primitive society. He also points out that some of their claims are in fact open to debate and challenge. The anthropological evidence is not as clear as is often made out. If you take the issue of cannibalism for... (Source)

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Tales of Army Life

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has...
Recommended by John Gittings, and 1 others.

John GittingsI chose this because most of us have read War and Peace, but many of us are less familiar with Tolstoy’s later life when he stressed his pacifist convictions in the most absolute of terms. There is a tendency to regard this as a personal development of Tolstoy’s which was almost out of keeping with what came before. But if you go back to his early experiences in the Caucasus and the Crimea as a... (Source)

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This is a new student edition of Erasmus' crucial treatise on political theory and also contains a new, excerpted translation from his Panegyric. The Education of a Christian Prince is one of the most important "advice-to-princes" texts published in the Renaissance and was dedicated to Charles V. It is a strongly pacifist work in which Erasmus sought to ensure that the prince governed justly and benevolently. This edition also includes an original introduction, a chronology of the life and work of Erasmus, and a comprehensive guide to further reading. less
Recommended by John Gittings, and 1 others.

John GittingsAgain, if you go to Foyles you would not find Erasmus’s essay The Education of a Christian Prince, which contains the passage “The Art of Peace”, but you would find several editions of Machiavelli’s The Art of War and The Prince. Erasmus marks the start of a discussion about peace which you can trace onwards from the Renaissance, through the Enlightenment, and up to the present day. In other... (Source)

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The Iliad

Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.

Combining the skills of a poet and scholar, Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim...

Ted TurnerWhen I got to college, I was a classics major, and that was mainly the study of Greek - and to a lesser extent Roman - history and culture, and that fascinated me: the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid by Virgil. (Source)

John GittingsHomer, like Shakespeare, encompassed all humanity in his work, and in The Iliad he encompasses peace as well as war. (Source)

Kate McLoughlinA lot of people who had public school educations, classical educations, might have gone into the First World War thinking that they were fighting Homer’s war. (Source)

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