New World Chaos
- BuyGoverning the World: The History of an Idea by Mark Mazower
Allen Lane, 475 pp, £25.00, October 2012, ISBN 978 0 7139 9683 8
Mark Mazower has written many elegant but gloomy books about the unending capacity of the Europeans to destroy one another. His new book is elegant, perceptive, stimulating and erudite. It deals with the attempts to create institutions that would bring economic and political order not only to Europe, but to mankind in general, to find a way of bringing to an end the Hobbesian chaos of war between nations with its casual massacres of civilians and organised slaughter on the battlefield. Mazower’s glum conclusion, reached almost before his book has begun, is that ‘we have moved from an era that had faith in the idea of international institutions to one that has lost it.’
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[*] The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity (Penguin, 1056 pp., £12.99, October 2012, 978 0 14 103464 5).