Since we are living in a time of many wars, with polarized feelings right here within the United States, it seems like a good time to reread War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. What strikes me at the beginning is how much wheeling and dealing goes on at the soirees. A benevolent uncle jockeys for position by granting a favor to an old luckless impoverished woman who is quite the wheeler dealer herself.
I am also struck at the words "joy" and "merry" in relation to the men's view of battle. They so look forward to the adventure of war that they approach it like children playing game.