ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

vrijdag 17 april 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Maartje ABBENHUIS reviews James CROSSLAND, War, Law and Humanity: The Campaign to Control Warfare, 1853–1914. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018 (American Historical Review CXXV (2020), No. 2 (Apr)

(image source: Bloomsbury)

First paragaph:
James Crossland’s rather ambitiously titled book War, Law and Humanity: The Campaign to Control Warfare, 1853–1914 narrates the activism and agency of two dozen or so men and women in mitigating, restricting, and avoiding the violence and spread of war in the second half of the nineteenth century. Its author does so by explaining not only the agency of these individuals in developing key humanitarian causes—like the Red Cross and the United States Sanitary Commission—but also the interconnection between their agency and the development of a range of legal codes and treaties aimed at regulating warfare, like the Lieber Code (1863), the Geneva Conventions of 1864 and 1906, the Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868, the Brussels Convention of 1874, and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. It is a highly readable book, replete with engaging anecdotes, contemporary reflections, and lively stylistic touches.
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