Back in 1910 Angell published a famous book titled “The Great Illusion,” arguing that war had become obsolete. Trade and industry, he pointed out, not the exploitation of subject peoples, were the keys to national wealth, so there was nothing to be gained from the vast costs of military conquest.
Moreover, he argued that mankind was beginning to appreciate this reality, that the “passions of patriotism” were rapidly declining. He didn’t actually say that there would be no more major wars, but he did give that impression.
We all know what came next.
—Paul Krugman on [Europe’s Great Illusion](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/opinion/krugman-europes-great-illusion.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)