Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Grocery Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Why Nations Go to War 9th Edition

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0534631482
ISBN-10: 0534631487
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Contains some highlighting, markings and/or writing. Minor shelf wear. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. Ships direct from Amazon. We appreciate your business.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
18 Used from $5.16
More Buying Choices
9 New from $51.01 18 Used from $5.16
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks

Editorial Reviews


"Why Nations Go to War is more than just a book. Words are transformed into living visuals about what happened to the 20th Century and why. History and the political decisions of our time come alive on these pages, and the author's analysis serves to weave case studies together into a seamless tapestry that moves the reader from confusion to clarity. In its ninth edition, Why Nations Go to War joins the ranks of a few classic works that combine intellect with a passion that sieves from life experiences ranging from the author's struggles as a refugee in World War II to the challenge of a career at the UN. His style is amazingly engaging. Students and general readers alike will feel as if they are having a conversation with one of the best informed academics and practitioners in the field of international relations."

About the Author

Dr. John G. Stoessinger is an internationally recognized political analyst and a prize-winning author of ten leading books on world politics. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard and has taught at Harvard, M.I.T., Columbia and Princeton. From 1967-1974, he served as acting director of the political affairs division at the United Nations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and lectures extensively throughout the world. On the eve of World War II, Dr. Stoessinger fled from Nazi-occupied Austria to Czechoslovakia. Three years later, he fled again via Siberia to China, where he lived for seven years in Shanghai. He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Bancroft Prize. He presently serves as Distinguished Professor of Global Diplomacy at the University of San Diego, and has been listed in WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA and WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD since 2002 to the present.

Teacher Supplies
Browse our Teacher Supplies store, with everything teachers need to educate students and expand their learning.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 9 edition (April 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0534631487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0534631482
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


John G. Stoessinger (Ph.D., Harvard) is Distinguished Professor of Global Diplomacy at the University of San Diego in San Diego, California. He has taught at Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Princeton, the City University of New York, and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. In 1969 he led the International Seminar on International Relations at Harvard University, and in 1970 he received honorary doctor of law degrees from Grinnell College, Iowa, and from the American College of Switzerland.
Dr. Stoessinger is the author of ten leading books on international relations, including The Might of Nations: World Politics In Our Time, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize by Columbia University in 1963 and is now in its tenth edition. He is also the author of The Refugee and the World Community; Financing the United Nations System; Power and Order, The United Nations and the Superpowers; Nations at Dawn: China, Russia, and America, Crusaders and Pragmatists: Movers of Modern American Foreign Policy; and Henry Kissinger: The Anguish of Power. Dr. Stoessinger also served as chief book review editor of Foreign Affairs for five years and as acting director of the Political Affairs Division at the United Nations from 1967 to 1974. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Stoessinger's most current book, Why Nations Go To War, was published in its Tenth Anniversary Edition in February 2007. In May, he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Drury University.

Dr. Stoessinger's name is included in Marquis's Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World in their most recent editions.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By unraveler on November 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This very readable book depicts the leadership dimension of modern warfare. It argues, contrary to the dominant view in International Relations, that individual leaders rather than impersonal objective factors are the main cause that determines whether nations will go to war and whether they will continue to fight it to an irrationally prolonged and destructive extent.
The case studies are interesting. And I discovered a number of new and important facts, despite my Ph.D. in Poltical Science. The case of the former Yugoslavia is particularly well-presented and easy for any non-specialist to understand. As a narrative about events and personalities, the book is indeed outstanding.
At the same time I have to voice certain reservations. Although the book is well-reserched and portrays historical events accurately and vividly, it cannot "prove" its thesis, because... well, it is unprovable. History is not a lab experiment to be conducted at will. We cannot test would would happen without this or that particular leader, all other conditions being the same.
It seems to me (just as it seemed to Voltaire) that it is preposterous that everything in the universe should obey physical laws, while a five-foot-tall creature living on the surface of one tiny planet manipulates history through his perceptions and misperceptions. In fact, Stoessinger's book has a goal that is independent of facts and arguments pertaining to the subject matter--to reassert a moral world-order in international politics and, by extension, in politics in general.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was really quite interesting. Stoessinger writes in a lucid manner, which makes the book a very easy read. However, I have two problems with this book, and after seeing all the positive reviews, I'm sure there are people who will want to hit me on the head for my criticism. Nevertheless, my first problem with this book is its emphasis on the individual as the level of the analysis as well. Stoessinger blames key leaders and individuals as responsible for the various wars addressed throughout this book (ie. WWI, WWII, etc). This seems pretty reductionist to me when there are other levels of analysis to consider as well. To make matters worse, Stoessinger reduces his personal biases against, say, Hitler into a characterization of HItler as "mad." Well, Hitler might have been mad, but there is more to HItler than simple "madness." Second, my problem with this book is that although there are footnotes, Stoessinger purports to see into the mind of leaders such as the Kaiser, Hitler etc. without proving his authority or where he received such personal insights. Oh, I guess I have a third criticism as well. The title of this book is "Why Nations Go to War;" if understanding why nations to go war is the purpose of writing this book, I don't think that devoting one chapter on one conflict (about 20-25 pages) is going to explain why nations to go to war.
On the other hand, this book like I initially wrote, was very interesting. However, to read this book in a vacuum might lead to some pretty big misperceptions about wars in the twentieth century.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read the 9th edition of WHY NATIONS GO TO WAR in a college interdisciplinary class about the Problem of War & Peace. The book is divided into ten different sections and covers what it lumps together as 9 major wars (the author considers several small wars as coninuations of other wars): WWI, WWII, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, the Bosnian War, the wars between India & Pakistan, the wars between Israel and Arab countries, Saddam Hussein's wars against Iran & Kuwait, the War in Afghanistan & the American-Iraqi War. The last section of the book provides the authors thesis to the question the title of the book raises, why do nations go to war?

I didn't agree with everything that the author wrote. Also, though the book is heavily researched, there are some errors (for instance, recently released documents have proven that the Chinese were working together with the Soviets during the Korean War and weren't just planning on, but were intending for the U.S. to invade North Korea--it was essential to their military strategy). Despite these disagreements and flaws, I found the book fascinating. It provides a fairly thorough backdrop for most of the conflicts it talks about and though the author's assessments of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are questionable, it still provides for a thought-provoking read.

Stoessinger's general thesis to the question of "why do nations go to war?" is that nations don't actually go to war, but the leaders of those nations do. He seems to contend that it isn't the people of the countries who are necessarily at fault and instead, the people in charge are the ones who should be held most responsible. Though there is some truth to this assertion, blaming any single person for a war is a bit absurd. The American Wild West no longer exists.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews