Thinking with Violence

This article addresses the assumptions that have underpinned historical writing about violence. It identifies a growing disconnect between mainstream historical practice and a new form of “comfort history” written for a popular audience largely by nonhistorians. It explores the reasons for this disconnect by looking at history's engagement with four other disciplines: psychology, historical sociology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology. It concludes by showing what the possibilities are for a more open dialogue between historians and social scientists and scientists.