I hope to convey my impressions of some books I am currently reading over the next two weeks. They are:
- The Shield of Achilles by Philip Bobbitt
- Six Days of War by Michael Oren
- The Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis
- No True Glory by Bing West
- Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett
This snippet from WH Auden cited in the Shield of Achilles seemed written for Ilan Halimi and those who killed and tortured him, and not incidentally for the Bing West's description of the Blackwater contractors whose bodies were desecrated by children as their elders egged them on.
The mass and majesty of this world, all
That carries weight and always weighs the same
Lay in the hands of others; they were small
And could not hope for help and no help came:
What their foes liked to do was done, their shame
Was all the worst one could wish; they lost their pride
And died as men before their bodies died ...
A ragged urchin, aimless and alone
Loitered about that vacancy; a bird
Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone:
That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
Of any world where promises were kept,
Or one could weep because another wept.