Antiwar Dissent and Peace Activism in World War I America


Antiwar Dissent and Peace Activism in World War I America

A Documentary Reader

Edited and with an introduction by Scott H. Bennett and Charles F. Howlett

400 pages
14 illustrations


October 2014


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eBook (PDF)
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October 2014


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

World War I was a watershed in modern world history. On the battlefield, millions were slaughtered by chemical warfare, machine guns, and trench warfare—and this senseless bloodletting remains the most enduring legacy of the Great War. Critical to understanding the war’s significance is the often-overlooked emergence of a “modern” dynamic grassroots peace movement that both opposed war and sought to abolish its social causes.
Edited by Scott H. Bennett and Charles F. Howlett, Antiwar Dissent and Peace Activism in World War I America presents primary documents, most anthologized for the first time, illustrating opposition and resistance to the war and the government’s efforts to promote the war and restrict dissent. This fresh collection highlights the broad range of antiwar sentiment: religious and secular, liberal and radical, pacifist and nonpacifist, including conscientious objection. It also addresses key issues raised by the antiwar movement—particularly dissent in wartime, civil liberties, the meaning of patriotism, and citizen peace activism—that remain vital to understanding American democracy.

Author Bio

Scott H. Bennett is a professor of history at Georgian Court University. He is the author of Radical Pacifism: The War Resisters League and Gandhian Nonviolence in America, 1915–1963.
Charles F. Howlett is a professor of education at Molloy College. He is the author of  History of the American Peace Movement, 1890–2000: The Emergence of a New Scholarly Discipline.


"Every generation needs to be reminded of and taught the heavy price exacted by war."—Murray Polner, History News Network

"Antiwar Dissent and Peace Activism in World War I America is a collection of vibrant and diverse sources and voices. It is an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to know more about the subject, a useful tool for those working in the area, and a key resource for those teaching the history of civil liberties, working for peace and the value of dissent in democratic societies."—Rebecca Wynter, Quaker Studies

“[This is] an extremely important contribution . . . bringing together sources from both the radical and mainstream aspects of antiwar activism.”—Cecelia Lynch, professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, and author of Beyond Appeasement: Interpreting Interwar Peace Movements in World Politics

“Experts in the field, Scott Bennett and Charles Howlett provide a valuable new collection of original source documents that provide fresh and insightful understanding of peace activism, dissent and the issue of civil liberties in America in World War I.”—John Whiteclay Chambers II, author of To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America


“Accessible to scholars and the general public alike, this wonderful volume brings to life those men and women who envisioned a better world and fought ‘to end all wars.’”—Wendy E. Chmielewski, George R. Cooley Curator, Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1.  Peace Organizations
2.  Socialists, Anarchists, and Wobblies
3.  Citizen Peace Agitators
4.  Female Activism and Gendered Peacework
5.  African American and Ethnic American Antiwar Dissent
6.  Conscientious Objectors
7.  Repression and Civil Liberties
8.  The Cultural Front and Antiwar Protest
9.  Peace Humanitarianism Abroad
10. Aftermath and Legacies
Selected Bibliography

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