Have efforts to make war more ethical — to ban torture and limit civilian casualties — only shored up the military enterprise and made it sturdier? That is the controversial argument Professor Samuel Moyn makes in his new book Humane. Moyn, a professor at Yale University and Non-Resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute, looks back at a century and a half of passionate arguments about the ethics of using force. Humane is the story of how America went off to fight and never came back, and how armed combat was transformed from an imperfect tool for resolving disputes into an integral component of the modern condition. As American wars have become more humane, they have also become endless, he argues.
To discuss his thesis, Moyn will be joined by Princeton Professor Gary Bass, author of The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide and Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention. Their conversation will be moderated by the Quincy Institute’s Kelley Beaucar Vlahos.
The discussion will take place on Monday, October 4, at 10 am ET.