Synopses & Reviews
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the First World War, and with it comes a deluge of books, documentaries, feature films and radio programs. We will hear a great deal about the horror of the battlefield. Bourke acknowledges wider truths: war is unending and violence is deeply entrenched in our society. But it doesn't have to be this way. This book equips readers with an understanding of the history, culture and politics of warfare in order to interrogate and resist an increasingly violent world.
Deep Violence investigates the ways that violence and war have become internalized in contemporary human consciousness in everything from the way we speak, to the way our children play with one another, to the way that we ascribe social characteristics to our guns and other weapons. With a remarkable depth of insight, Bourke argues for a radical overhaul of our collective stance towards militarism from one that simply aims to reduce violence against people to one that would eradicate all violence. Her message is judicious and vital: knowledge about weapons and the violence they bring has simply become too important to cast aside or leave to the experts.
From the author:
"Violence and war have been at the centre of my life as an historian for decades, but I had never really been aware of how closely they impinged on the everyday world. Killing is an integral part of the entertainment industry. War has become mainstream. We barely notice it.
In 2014, we will be bracing ourselves for a deluge of books, documentaries, feature films, radio programmes, and public discussions commemorating the 100 years since the declaration of the First World War. Some commentators will recycle stories of spunk and valour; flags will be waved, bands will belt out rousing tunes, and we will all feel so much better about ourselves. Others will insist that we turn our gaze to the retching suffering experienced by men, women, and children cowering in trenches or basements during bombardments. We will hear a great deal about "the horror, the horror."
We need to acknowledge a wider truth, however. The war is unending. Violence is deeply entrenched in our society. It permeates our lives. We need to make this violence noticed. It doesn't have to be this way."