Synopses & Reviews
From world-renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Soul's Code
, a profound examination of the roots of man's primal love/hate relationship with war.
War is a timeless force in the human imagination-and, indeed, in daily life. If recent events have taught us anything, it is that peacetime is not nearly so constant and attainable as wartime. During the 5,600 years of recorded history, 14,600 wars have been fought-2 to 3 for every year of human history. War is a constant thing. And yet no one really understands why that is.
In A Terrible Love of War, James Hillman, one of the central figures in psychology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, fills this great void and undertakes a groundbreaking examination of the origins, needs, and rewards of war. Moreover, in this brilliant inquiry, Hillman explores many other essential questions, such as:
Is war a necessary part of our human soul and, therefore, a necessary part of our lives?
Why do we need enemies?
What scars does warfare carve on the psyche of its soldiers? And why does it have such a permanent effect?
If war is such a "normal" part of our existence, why do we fear it so much? And alternately, how could we ever embrace a force so destructive, so wanton, and so inhuman?
Can the impulse to engage in war be tamed?
Hillman asserts that "if we want war's horror to be abated so that life may go on, it is necessary to understand and imagine." A Terrible Love of War is a crucial tool to understanding war-a crucial book for us all.
"Important reading for our time, as we try to make sense of our terrors." —San Francisco Chronicle
"[Hillman’s] portrayal of war as an implacable force, a primary element of the human condition, is unsettling." —Publishers Weekly
From world-renowned psychologist and bestselling author of "The Soul's Code" comes a profound examination of the roots of man's primal love/hate relationship with war.
War is a timeless force in the human imagination—and, indeed, in daily life. Engaged in the activity of destruction, its soldiers and its victims discover a paradoxical yet profound sense of existing, of being human. In A Terrible Love of War, James Hillman, one of today’s most respected psychologists, undertakes a groundbreaking examination of the essence of war, its psychological origins and inhuman behaviors. Utilizing reports from many fronts and times, letters from combatants, analyses by military authorities, classic myths, and writings from great thinkers, including Twain, Tolstoy, Kant, Arendt, Foucault, and Levinas, Hillman’s broad sweep and detailed research bring a fundamentally new understanding to humanity’s simultaneous attraction and aversion to war. This is a compelling, necessary book in a violent world.
About the Author
James Hillman has written more than twenty books, including The Force of Character, Re-Visioning Psychology (nominated for a Pulitzer in 1975), and The Soul's Code, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 1996. He is an internationally renowned lecturer, teacher, and psychologist and has taught at Yale, Syracuse, and the University of Chicago.
Table of Contents
War Is Normal
Chapter Two: War Is Inhuman
Chapter Three: War Is Sublime
Chapter Four: Religion Is War
About the Author