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Philip Bobbitt and Sir Michael Howard discuss Bobbitt's book "The Shield of Achilles: War, Law and the Course of History"

Event Date: March 19, 2003

Author Philip Bobbitt was joined by Sir Michael Howard, Library of Congress Kluge Center Scholar, in a discussion of Bobbitt's recently published book, The Shield of Achilles: War, Law and the Course of History (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002).

Hailed as "one of the best books of 2002" by the Times Literary Supplement and The Economist, The Shield of Achilles is a classic inquiry into the nature of the nation-state, which developed over five centuries as the optimal institution for waging war and organizing peace. He postulates that the decline of ideologies such as fascism and communism has given rise to global economic and political institutions, which will, in turn, have a profound effect on the concept of statehood in the future. While Bobbitt anticipates the war against terrorism, he shows how nations might avoid the great power struggles that could lead to unprecedented destruction.

Biographical Information

Philip Bobbitt teaches constitutional law at the University of Texas, where he holds the A.W. Walker Centennial Chair. He was formerly the Anderson Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he was a member of the Modern History faculty.

Sir Michael Howard, who wrote the foreword to the work, holds the John W. Kluge Chair of Countries and Cultures of the North at the Library of Congress. Considered to be the United Kingdom's foremost military historian, Sir Michael is a distinguished speaker and the author of a number of books and essays, most recently, The Invention of Peace, which was published in 2000.

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