This is a 3000-year history of the world that examines the causes of war and the search for peace. In 3000 years of history, China has spent at least 11 centuries at war. The Roman Empire was in conflict during at least 50 per cent of its lifetime. Since 1776, the United States has spent over 100 years at war. The dream of peace has been universal in the history of humanity. So why have we so rarely been able to achieve it? Here, Jonathan Holslag has produced a sweeping history of the world, from the Iron Age to the present, that investigates the causes of conflict between empires, nations and peoples and the attempts at diplomacy and cosmopolitanism.