"War fosters an impossible collection of opposites: murder, soldierly comradeship, torture, religious conviction, the destruction of the earth, patriotism, annihilation, hope for immortal glory. Wartime seems to propel life to its most vivid, most meaningful level. Engaged in the activity of destruction, its soldiers and its victims discover a profound sense of existing, of being human. The mind withdraws from this paradox, and, indeed, few writers have taken on the task of unlocking the baleful, intoxicating, and necessary force that is war. Instead, the bare fact that war has dominated human history since the earliest records and seems always ready to break out is ignored, condemned, or lamented." "James Hillman, recognized worldwide as a creative innovator in clinical and cultural psychology, draws upon his original thinking to uncover the essence of war. Examining reports from many fronts and times, letters from combatants, analyses by military authorities, and writings from Twain and Tolstoy, Kant, Arendt, Foucault, and Levinas, Hillman's broad sweep and detailed research bring a fundamentally new understanding to war's love and terror. Moreover, he reveals war to be a mythological force - Mars as a god that resides not only within the minds of generals but also within the souls of all mankind, within the tenets of our religions, within the very soil beneath our feet. Rather than dismissing war as the machinations of evil men, Hillman argues that through clear-eyed investigation, we can comprehend its myriad contradictions, and more than that, we can learn how to tame it."--Jacket.