Authors: Philip Bobbitt
THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES
‘Wide-ranging, ambitiously conceived and intelligently argued… Bobbitt's future scenarios are based on an intelligent and cautiously realistic extrapolation of current security and political developments. We ignore them at our peril' T. G. Otte,
The Times Literary Supplement
‘Bobbitt's book is in many ways a remarkable one… breathtaking in its range of reference, forcefully written' David Runciman,
London Review of Books
‘Bobbitt's thesis is controversial – but backed by a weight of historical evidence' Will Hutton,
‘The world has changed… This is a bold book, a brave book, and a worthy primer for the essential study of where we go from here' Allan Mallinson,
‘A polemic that challenges the fabric of all modern states' Angelique Chrisafis,
‘Philip Bobbitt is to be saluted for undertaking an epic struggle to sort through an extraordinarily dynamic time in international affairs' Thomas Donnelly,
‘This book is immensely and deliberately provocative… a passionate and worthy effort to make sense of what is clearly a brand new world' Christopher Willcox,
New York Sun
‘It is hard to imagine a book by a law professor that has had more immediate impact on world leaders… if you ever wonder what works from our era will be read as
are read, think of
The Shield of Achilles'
Michigan Law Review
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Philip Bobbitt served as a senior adviser at the White House, the Senate and the State Department, and held several senior posts at the National Security Council, including Director for Intelligence and most recently as the Senior Director for Strategic Planning, in both Democratic and Republican administrations. He holds the Walker Chair in constitutional law at the University of Texas. He has been Anderson Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, where he was a member of the Oxford Modern History Faculty, and Marsh Christian Senior Fellow in War Studies at King's College, London. He has written previous books on nuclear strategy, social choice and constitutional law. He lives in Austin, Washington and London.
WAR, PEACE AND THE COURSE OF HISTORY
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London
First published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf 2002
First published in Great Britain by Allen Lane The Penguin Press 2002
Published in Penguin Books 2003
Copyright © Philip Bobbitt, 2002
All rights reserved
The moral right of the author has been asserted
The acknowledgements on pp. 921 – 2 constitute an extension of this copyright page
Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
To those by whose love God's grace
was first made known to me
to those whose loving-kindness
has ever since sustained me in His care.
(Book XVIII, lines 558 – 720)
And first Hephaestus makes a great and massive shield,
blazoning well-wrought emblems all across its surface,
raising a rim around it, glittering, triple-ply
with a silver shield-strap run from edge to edge
and five layers of metal to build the shield itself,
and across its vast expanse with all his craft and cunning
the god creates a world of gorgeous immortal work.
There he made the earth and there the sky and the sea
and the inexhaustible blazing sun and the moon rounding full
and there the constellations, all that crown the heavens,
the Pleiades and the Hyades, Orion in all his power too
and the Great Bear that mankind also calls the Wagon:
she wheels on her axis always fixed, watching Orion,
and she alone is denied a plunge in the Ocean's baths.
And he forged on the shield two noble cities filled
with mortal men. With weddings and wedding feasts in one
and under glowing torches they brought forth the brides
from the women's chambers, marching through the streets
while choir on choir the wedding song rose high
and the young men came dancing, whirling round in rings
and among them the flutes and harps kept up their stirring call —
women rushed to the doors and each stood moved with wonder.
And the people massed, streaming into the marketplace
where a quarrel had broken out and two men struggled
over the blood-price for a kinsman just murdered.
One declaimed in public, vowing payment in full—
the other spurned him, he would not take a thing—
so both men pressed for a judge to cut the knot.
The crowd cheered on both, they took both sides,
but heralds held them back as the city elders sat
on polished stone benches, forming the sacred circle,
grasping in hand the staffs of clear-voiced heralds,
and each leapt to his feet to plead the case in turn.
Two bars of solid gold shone on the ground before them,
a prize for the judge who'd speak the straightest verdict.