This was the first book of Geoffrey Blainey which I struggled with. It basically gave a run through of the reasons of war and the reasons just as importantly for peace.
The causes of war were quite systematic in Baineys approach from accidents, to balances of major powers and alliances, short wars and long wars. I struggled with all theses examples and the jumping around of time frames.
I think I would have preferred the book to go through wars chronologically and then talk about the reasons specifically for that war. Instead of the reason for war and the examples after it.
The edition that I read was 1977 and a lot has happened since then. The end of communism for a start. There has been for the last 20 years or so no 'balance' of power. The United States been the only superpower, although China is on the rise. For the last ten years or so 'terrorism' has been great war of our time. It would be interesting how Blainey would have incorporated it in his book.