War Against War

The American Fight for Peace 1914-1918

War Against War

A dramatic account of the Americans who tried to stop their nation from fighting in the First World War—and came close to succeeding.

In this “fascinating” (Los Angeles Times) narrative, Michael Kazin brings us into the ranks of one of the largest, most diverse, and most sophisticated peace coalitions in US history. The activists came from a variety of backgrounds: wealthy, middle, and working class; urban and rural; white and black; Christian and Jewish and atheist. They mounted street demonstrations and popular exhibitions, attracted prominent leaders from the labor and suffrage movements, ran peace candidates for local and federal office, met with President Woodrow Wilson to make their case, and founded new organizations that endured beyond the cause. For almost three years, they helped prevent Congress from authorizing a massive increase in the size of the US army—a step advocated by ex-president Theodore Roosevelt. When the Great War’s bitter legacy led to the next world war, the warnings of these peace activists turned into a tragic prophecy—and the beginning of a surveillance state that still endures today.

Peopled with unforgettable characters and written with riveting moral urgency, War Against War is a “fine, sorrowful history” (The New York Times) and “a timely reminder of how easily the will of the majority can be thwarted in even the mightiest of democracies” (The New York Times Book Review).
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476705910 | 
  • January 2018
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About the Author

Michael Kazin
Phil Humnickey/Georgetown University

Michael Kazin

Michael Kazin is a professor of history at Georgetown University and editor of Dissent. He is the award-winning author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918; American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation; A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan; America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (with Maurice Isserman); The Populist Persuasion: An American History; and Barons of Labor. In addition, he is editor-in-chief of The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History, co-editor of the anthology Americanism, and editor of In Search of Progressive America. Kazin has contributed to The Washington Post, The Nation, Democracy, The New York Times Book Review, Foreign Affairs, and many other publications and websites. He lives in Washington, DC, and is married to Beth Horowitz. They have two grown children.

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