Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

November 1996

Journal/Publication Title

Times Literary Supplement


This 1996 Times Literary Supplement essay examines two very different books about aspects of warfare. Robert O'Connell's Ride of the Second Horseman is a speculative history of the rise of warfare among human beings, looking back to early human beings. It is a striking account, even though speculative, because it deals in early human behavior without offering an explanation from evolutionary biology. O'Connell acknowledges that non-human species can engage in warfare, and specifically notes ants. In that process, he carefully distinguishes - as few writers do - between aggression, violence, weapons use, predation, and war.