I’d be the first to agree that history reveals in the human race a relatively constant progression from savagery to civilization. It’s just so goddamned slow! The problem, I think, is that far too many people try to maintain their equanimity by turning a blind eye toward atrocity, rather than staring it down.
Read this book. There’s a reason it became an overnight best-seller when originally published in 1928 (as Im Westen Nichts Neues: “nothing new in the west”). Remarque (the author) fought in the trenches of WWI and was wounded on five separate occasions. In this work, he sets out to put an end to war by revealing its face.
I haven’t been able to find an etext version, but you can pick it up used via Amazon.com for as little as 2 cents! (Plus $3.49 S&H.)