marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Women And War

Women And War by Jean Bethke Elshtain

An analysis of war and women from the ancient Greeks onward.  The Homeric hero and his hunt for glory, with Hecuba mourning her grandson's death because he could have died fighting for his city if not for it.  The Spartan warrior, rather more channeled but still belligerent as all get out, and the Spartan mother who says, burying her son, that she has had good luck because she bore a son so that he might die for Sparta. 

Pacifism, introduced by Christianity. 

Followed up by the invention of the nation-state by the Enlightenment and the revival of the absolute dedication to the state's wars, and the mother who raises her son for war.  (Rousseau adored the Spartans -- and wrote some awful tripe about mother love, considering that the mother of his own children acquiesced in his dumping them on an orphanage step to almost certain death.  Wollstonecraft denounced it in him:  "the barely human Spartans".) 

Clausewitz's famous work -- which was actually brought out by his wife after his death, after some work on her part, which she, of course, carefully minimized to avoid presenting it as any kind of expertise on her part. (expertise on war, of all things.)

Includes analysis of realism in political theory.

And an discussion of men and women in wars, and their roles, and the thrills and attractions of war and its effects.

Lots of interesting stuff.
Tags: ethos, non-historical non-fiction reviews, secondary source, world-building: social structure

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