In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
Praise for Lawyers Gone Bad
“Slayton’s critique shows an insider’s awareness of the legal profession’s most pressing problems.”
Globe and Mail
“…smart and lively… Slayton’s credentials… make him just the man to figure out why lawyers who go bad do so.”
“Slayton knows how to tell a human-interest, human frailty tale. And he seamlessly interweaves his larcenous-or-libidinous-lawyer stories with the larger legal and ethical issues at play. Lawyers Gone Bad can be read for fun, or for edification, or both.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“Mr. Slayton brings impressive credentials to this exercise and what he says should be of interest to both lawyers and the public… Lawyers Gone Bad is a well-organized, well-written and manageable text that is a welcome addition to the limited literature on lawyer self-regulation.”
“…the profession should take note and engage in debate about the issues Slayton has brought to light.”
“…authoritative and entertaining book… Slayton has provided a tremendous public service in highlighting the problems.”
“With this titillating tell-all, Philip Slayton has punctured the dignity of a stuffed-shirt profession…
“I recommend the book to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. It is beautifully written and, at times, the stories are jaw-dropping.”
Michael Cochrane, Business News Network
Penguin Canada 2011
How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life
Mighty Judgment by Philip Slayton (forthcoming, Spring 2011) follows his provocative and best-selling Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex and Madness in Canada’s Legal Profession. Like Slayton’s earlier book, it is written for anyone interested in an essential Canadian institution.
The book describes important issues the Supreme Court decides for individual Canadians and for Canada as a nation, and the surprising and dramatic ways in which it determines our future.
In the Morgentaler case (1988), the court struck down laws restricting abortion, leaving Canada as the only western country without any abortion laws.
In the Same Sex Marriage Reference (2004), it decided that gays and lesbians can marry.
In the Secession Reference (1998), it laid down the conditions under which Quebec could secede from Canada.
In the Patrick case (2009), the court decided the right of privacy does not stop the police from rifling through garbage, even though Justice Binnie noted “residential waste includes an enormous amount of personal information about what is going on in our homes, including a lot of DNA on household tissues, highly personal records (e.g., love letters, overdue bills and tax returns) and hidden vices (pill bottles, syringes, sexual paraphernalia, etc.). …”
And in January 2010 the court administered a tongue-lashing to the federal government over its treatment of Omar Khadr, and stopped a hair’s breadth short of demanding that Canada seek his repatriation from Guantanamo Bay.
Mighty Judgment argues that the Supreme Court of Canada is a political institution, and that judges are politicians. Decisions are influenced by judges’ backgrounds, personalities and characters; the book describes each Supreme Court judge’s personal history, character and personality, how they work and work together. But judges cannot be voted out of office. Slayton discusses reforms that are needed, particularly in the way judges are chosen, once we recognize that the court decides policy and in many ways governs Canada.
Philip Slayton, an award winning columnist on legal issues,divides his time between Toronto, and Port Medway, Nova Scotia, and a guest lectureship in South Africa.