AUSTIN, Texas Last night UT Law's Philip C. Bobbitt was awarded the top prize at the Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards for his book The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History (Knopf, 2002).
"This is a great honor for Philip, and for our Law School. The Shield of Achilles is a true masterpiece. It reflects Philip's experience as a scholar and his work in government. We are fortunate to have him on our faculty," said Dean Bill Powers.
The Hamilton Book Awards honor outstanding books published by The University of Texas faculty. A committee of scholars appointed by the University's Vice President of Research chose the winners. The award is named for UT Law professor Robert W. Hamilton who served as the Chairman of the University's Co-op Board for many years. The grand prize carries a $10,000 stipend.
"I am delighted by the award of the Hamilton Prize to The Shield of Achilles. It is particularly satisfying to be honored in the name of someone I myself honor. The research and writing, including leaves of absence to serve in government posts that were important for the themes of the book, were made possible by a creative collaboration between Deans Mark Yudof and Michael Sharlot and various institutions. Here in the University community, Hans Mark, Richard Markovits, Steven Weinberg, Paul Woodruff, were especially helpful in providing detailed comments on the manuscript. Betty Sue Flowers was, and continues to be, an inspiration to anyone writing in the subject of 'future history'. Jennifer Lamar, my incomparable secretary, shepherded many versions of a 350,000+ word manuscript and seems to have emerged from the experience relatively sane. I am most grateful to all," said Bobbitt.
Shield presents a history of six centuries of military history and argues that changes in military strategies led to different concepts of the state. Bobbit then demonstrates that today's "nation-state" is changing into the "market-state" where governments seek to maximize opportunity for their citizens but can no longer provide the same benefits as in years past.
The book has already received much acclaim. Pankaj Mishra in the Times (Lodon) Literary Supplement called it "one of the best books of the year." The Economist named it "one of the best books in 2002 on politics and current affairs." The New York Times deemed Shield "Magisterial in its scope and ambition," and Pulitzer prize winner David McCullough called it "A triumph ... Grand in scale and original in concept, amazingly learned, often provocative, consistently absorbing."
Bobbitt is considered one of the nation's leading constitutional theorists. His interests include not only constitutional law but also international security and the history of strategy. He has published five additional books: Constitutional Interpretation (1991), Democracy and Deterrence (1987), U.S. Nuclear Strategy (with Freedman and Treverton) (1989), Constitutional Fate (1982), Tragic Choices (with Calabresi) (1978). He is a member of the American Law Institute, The Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He has served as Associate Counsel to the President, the Counselor on International Law at the State Department, Legal Counsel to the Senate Iran-Contra Committee, and Director for Intelligence, Senior Director for Critical Infrastructure and Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council. He is a former trustee of Princeton University; and a former member of the Oxford University Modern History Faculty and the War Studies Department of Kings College, London.
Bobbitt is the second law school professor to claim the top Hamilton Book award in the past three years. Lucas A. (Scot) Powe, Jr. won in 2001 for his book The Warren Court and American Politics (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000).