In this session of the Applied History Working Group, Margaret MacMillan, Professor of History at the University of Toronto and visiting distinguished historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, will discuss with Graham T. Allison her celebrated new history, WAR: How Conflict Shaped Us (Random House) – an indispensable volume for understanding how war molds history, politics, and society.

All HKS affiliates are welcome to attend; register using the RSVP link above.

Margaret MacMillan is emeritus professor of international history at the University of Oxford and professor of history at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD from Oxford University and became a member of the history faculty at Ryerson University in 1975. In 2002 she became Provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, and from 2007 to 2017 she was the Warden of St. Antony's College at Oxford University. Her previous books include Paris 1919,  The War That Ended Peace,  Nixon and MaoDangerous Games, and Women of the Raj.


Random House on WAR: How Conflict Shaped Us:

"Is peace an aberration? The bestselling author of Paris 1919 offers a provocative view of war as an essential component of humanity.

Margaret MacMillan looks at the ways in which war has influenced human society and how, in turn, changes in political organization, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight. WAR: How Conflict Shaped Us explores such much-debated and controversial questions as: When did war first start? Does human nature doom us to fight one another? Why has war been described as the most organized of all human activities? Why are warriors almost always men? Is war ever within our control?

Drawing on lessons from wars throughout the past, from classical history to the present day, MacMillan reveals the many faces of war – the way it has determined our past, our future, our views of the world, and our very conception of ourselves."


Praise for WAR: How Conflict Shaped Us:

"Margaret MacMillan has produced another seminal work . . . . She is right that we must, more than ever, think about war. And she has shown us how in this brilliant, elegantly written book."H.R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty and Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

"Clausewitz sketched On War to instruct military professionals; Margaret MacMillan has written War to explain this 'troubling and unsettling mystery' to the rest of us. She investigates the subject's terror and fascination, as well as its scope and persistence, with honesty and humanity. Only a historian with MacMillan's comprehensive knowledge, command of sources, clarity of thought, and artful writing could succeed so brilliantly with one volume on this sweeping topic."Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank, U.S. trade representative, and U.S. deputy secretary of state