War: What is it Good for? The Role of Conflict in Civilisation, from Primates to Robots, by Ian Morris, Profile, RRP£25/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, RRP$30
In this remarkable book, historian Morris argues not only that war is a source of technological advance but that it brings peace. Through war, more powerful and effective states emerge and these in turn do not merely offer the blessings of peace, but impose it. The thesis is disturbingly persuasive. But, in a nuclear age, the great powers will have to try something else.
The full list is here, possibly gated. They also recommend the Adam Tooze book on the post WWI era, which I now have finished and really like and also find to be quite Sumnerian. Adam Minter’s Junkyard Planet is an excellent read as well.