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G.K. Chesterton, Peacemaker

G.K. Chesterton’s writings are as prescient today as they were over three quarters of a century ago.  When he wrote most of the essays in this anthology during the early 20th century, he was either warning Great Britain about the impending dangers of war or offering advice on how to create a state of peace.  This new collection, selected and edited by Michael W. Perry, contends that Chesterton was one of the great voices of sanity during his era, calling for genuine peace while many of the most celebrated thinkers of the time were doing their best to let the world either burn or freeze.

Chesterton took aim at both the militarists and the pacifists of his day.  He attacked the militarists for attempting to advance their personal agendas through bloodshed and destruction, and he pilloried the pacifists for being so desperate to avoid conflict that they deliberately misrepresented the international situation and were willing to sell out other people’s rights and freedoms so as not to inconvenience their own positions of comfort and desires for the future.

One pacifist in particular is singled out for attack by Perry: Sir Norman Angell, the 1933 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  In presenting Angell with his award, committee member and fellow Peace Prize Laureate Christian Lous Lange declared, “It is mankind’s deep tragedy that it so rarely sees reality . . . We see what we desire...

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