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Episode summary: We talk to the historian Margaret MacMillan about the changing character of war, from the ancient world to the twenty-first century. Do we still understand the risks? Where are the conflicts of the future likely to break out? And how can we reconcile the terrible destructiveness of war with its capacity to bring about positive change? Plus we talk about why war produces so much great art. Talking Points: Is the way we commemorate war distancing us from the reality of it? - Those who have seen war tend to be wary of it. - There is complacency in a number of countries that war is something that ‘we’ don’t do anymore. War is terrible, yet so much of the innovation that we value seems intertwined with it. - For many people WWI exemplifies the futility of war, yet many of the things we value came out of that war, particularly political and institutional change. - WWI essentially gave Europe modern welfare states and universal suffrage. - The two world wars also led to much greater social equality. - There seems…

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