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February 27, 2003
Philip Bobbitt To Discuss New Book on Origins of War on March 19
Rescheduled from Original Date
Author Philip Bobbitt will be 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), at noon on Wednesday, March 19, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, located at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. This event, which is sponsored by the Office of Scholarly Programs, is free and open to the public. (This event was originally scheduled for March 18.)
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. Bobbitt traces the role of the state in past wars and analyzes the subsequent peace agreements that ended each conflict. 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.
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. He also held the position of Marsh Christian Fellow in War Studies at King's College, London. He has served as associate counsel to the president for intelligence and international security, legal counsel to the Senate Select Committee on the Iran-Contra Affair, counsel on international law at the Department of State, as well as director of intelligence, senior director for critical infrastructure, and senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council. He has written several books on nuclear strategy, social choice and constitutional law.
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.
Established in 2000 through a $60 million endowment from John W. Kluge, the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress hosts qualified scholars conducting research in its comprehensive collections for a period of up to one year. The center furnishes work and discussion space for the Kluge Chair holders, other established chairs, distinguished visiting scholars, Kluge postdoctoral fellows, and for postdoctoral fellows supported by other private foundation gifts. The center also provides easy access to the Library's services and specialized staff.
For more information about the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; phone (202) 707-3302; fax (202) 707-3595; Web site: www.loc.gov/loc/kluge.
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