This is a book on conflict and consensus aimed at the general reader. In active, plain and direct language it makes the seemingly abstract and complex issues simple. Its view of peace is well-rounded, tough-minded, one that well understands the difficult world of social and personal violence and conflict. At its heart is a simple finding: "to wage peace we need to foster freedom." The human race can best achieve that simple aim by "leaving people alone to form their own communities."The Conflict Helix avoids the ambiguous in favor of the categorical; the hedged, qualified statement for the direct Rummel presents a series of basic principles, each concerning an aspect of conflict and peace - psychological, interpersonal, societal, international - and each aspect having its own master principle. These principles are not mere organizational props, but are deeply theoretical and empirically fundamental.The volume expresses the core ideas, results and conclusions of Rummel's major, five-volume work on Understanding Conflict and War. In discarding technical material and focusing on principles and meaning, The Conflict Helix presents an executive summary of a lifetime of work in a digestible form. In light of recent events in Europe, Asia and Latin American this work takes on a special poignancy for the developing no less than the industrialized worlds. Hence, this book should be of value to the general reader as well as professionals and advanced students of international politics.