Honour Among Men and Nations

Honour Among Men and Nations: Transformations of an idea

GEOFFREY BEST
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 108
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jjcn3
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  • Book Info
    Honour Among Men and Nations
    Book Description:

    To no group subject to sociological and political analysis has honour seemed to matter more than to the military. The degeneration of this concept and of the public realm in which honour's obligations have to be observed is the subject of this book, based on the 1981 Joanne Goodman Lectures at the University of Western Ontario.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5690-1
    Subjects: Political Science, History, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Neville Thompson

    The Joanne Goodman Lectures were established at the University of Western Ontario in 1975 to honour the memory of the elder daughter of Mr and Mrs Edwin A. Goodman of Toronto. Each year the university invites a scholar to deliver three lectures on some aspect of the history of the English-speaking peoples, particularly those of the Atlantic Triangle of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, that will be of interest to members of the university community and the general public. The list of those who have so far participated in the series indicates the distinction of these lectures...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Geoffrey Best
  5. 1 Noblemen and the Rest
    (pp. 1-26)

    WHEN THE DECISION was made to honour me with an invitation to give the 1981 Joanne Goodman Lectures, it must have been expected that in giving them I might not depart wholly from the preoccupations of the last ten years of my working life. They have been to write a history of the international law of war: those evolving codes of prohibitions and restraints, the Geneva Conventions the best known of them, by which States have attempted to limit the material and psychological damages of their deadly quarrels.¹ That work had frustrations as well as fulfilments. Partly because I sought...

  6. 2 Democracy and Nationalization
    (pp. 27-54)

    HISTORIANS OF NATIONALISM agree to differ in their estimates of how much of it (and what sorts of it) already existed in the Atlantic world of 1785. They are at one in recognizing that that world by 1815 was full of it, and that although each national variety had of course its own strong characteristics, those varieties had enough in common for it to constitute the most momentous phenomenon of modern history. And of its common elements, commonest was the relish of war. The peoples now becoming conscious (or perhaps just more conscious) of themselves as nations did so, without...

  7. 3 Man and Mankind
    (pp. 55-84)

    THE GREAT WAR was the high-water mark, for the European and North American empires, of the nationalization of honour, a process that had been going on since about the time of the American and French revolutions. Within the past half century or so, the tide has somewhat turned as the consequences have been experienced of such a fragmentation of one of mankind’s noblest impulses into the mutually exclusive services of the States into which mankind is divided.

    For the military, the part of mankind which had traditionally laid most claim to honour, and which was still enjoying as much of...

  8. Postscript
    (pp. 85-94)

    IT CAN BE NO condemnation of a set of three lectures on an ambitious theme that they left out a lot, but I welcome this opportunity to comment briefly on some of the more attractive and seemingly rewarding aspects of honour I had to leave aside. Books that do not set out to be definitive (and what book can claim to be so unless its subject is a small, dry one?) ought to invite further inquiry, and even to provoke it. I certainly hope this little book will. There is so much it has not dealt with.

    The Soviet Union,...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 95-104)
  10. Index
    (pp. 105-108)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 109-109)