War: How Conflict Shaped Us: A People, Politics, and Prose Event

War has shaped humanity’s history, its social and political institutions, its values and ideas. Our very language, our public spaces, our private memories, and some of our greatest cultural treasures reflect the glory and the misery of war. In this installment of People, Politics, and Prose with Ron Granieri, we will speak with noted author Margaret MacMillan about her new book, War: How Conflict Shaped Us. Granieri and MacMillan will explore 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? Is war ever within our control? These questions and yours will guide the conversation.

To purchase Professor MacMillan’s book, please visit:

People, Politics, and Prose with Ron Granieri features in-depth conversations with authors of recent books on international affairs and national security. Moderated by FPRI’s Ronald J. Granieri, each session will build on the book’s contents to discuss the author’s influences and motivations, relating everything to current events to elicit a broader understanding of the geographical, political, and historical context of our contemporary world.

Margaret MacMillan is a historian and academic administrator. She was a member of Ryerson University’s History Department for 25 years, Provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto from 2002 to 2007, and Warden of St Antony’s College, the University of Oxford from 2007 to 2017. Her research specializes in British imperial history and the international history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Publications include Peacemakers: The Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War (2001) (also as Paris, 1919 in the United States) and History’s People: Personalities and the Past (2015). In 2015 she gave the CBC’s Massey Lectures and in 2018 the BBC’s Reith Lectures. Awards include the Duff Cooper Prize 2002, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction, 2002, and the Governor-General’s Award for Non-Fiction, 2003.

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