Since man first wielded a stick in anger, war and conflict have been prime movers in the progress of science and technology. In our earliest days the impetus may have been as simple as protecting territory or a food supply; more recently science has benefited from massive injections of cash when national security is at stake. But as Michael White demonstrates in this superbly wide-ranging and brilliant history of innovation, almost all major technological developments can be traced back to times of war. From the arrow to nuclear power; from cuneiform to the credit card; from the chariot to the bullet train and from the tribal drum to the Internet, our creativity owes much to the destructiveness of our nature. Accessible, thought-provoking and chock-full of fascinating facts, THE FRUITS OF WAR is a superb history of science and innovation that shows how the best of humanity often flows from its worst.
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