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Caron E. Gentry

Alex J. Bellamy's Just Wars: From Cicero to Iraq (2006), Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars (1977), and Larry May's Aggression and Crimes Against Peace (2008) are three significant works on Just War thinking that offer unique perspectives on the different facets of jus ad bellum. Bellamy's book is a historical examination of the evolution of Just War thinking. Walzer's book is a classic and a crucial component of the Just War canon; this book brought Just War considerations back into political conversations. While classical Realism dominated the post-World War II political landscape for its own moral contemplations towards war and power, it was not able to speak to the anti-Vietnam agonism. Walzer purposefully set out to speak to these considerations in a frankly philosophical framework, one rooted in historical thought and examples. May has a unique voice within the Just War tradition— his starting point is a form of pacifism. Although this is somewhat controversial, it is not without precedence. One of the key pieces on nuclear weapons is the 1983 letter from the US Catholic Bishops that placed the Just War tradition within a pacifist framework. Similarly, May has set out to examine how this ancient tradition can fit the needs of the current international arena, particularly in light of humanitarian intervention.