World War Zero: The Forgotten Conflict of the Pygmies and Cranes


As a classicist, as well as a student of stories), this is a fascinating look at cross-cultural mythologies of an ancient and forgotten war.


“Like pygmies we fight with cranes” – Henry David Thoreau

Philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, “War does not determine who is right, only who is left”. Historically, humanity (perhaps the name is meant ironically) has a talent for wiping out stunning percentages of our own species. Some 50 million people were killed in World War II (roughly 2% of the world population), but don’t attribute this to the increased effectiveness of our weapons of war. The Mongol Conquests in Asia from 1206-1368 A.D. erased some 70 million people from the face of the earth (17% of the people on the planet at the time), it just took a little longer. Entire cultures are routinely decimated; 6 million murdered in the Holocaust; 8 million starved to death by Stalin in the Ukraine between 1932-1933; countless millions of indigenous peoples killed through war, displacement, and disease during the European colonization of the…

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