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  • Page extent: 390 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.5 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521670005)

Veteran scholar and peace activist David Cortright offers a definitive history of the human striving for peace and an analysis of its religious and intellectual roots. This authoritative, balanced, and highly readable volume traces the rise of peace advocacy and internationalism from their origins in earlier centuries through the mass movements of recent decades: the pacifist campaigns of the 1930s, the Vietnam antiwar movement, and the waves of disarmament activism that peaked in the 1980s. Also explored are the underlying principles of peace - nonviolence, democracy, social justice, and human rights - all placed within a framework of 'realistic pacifism'. Peace brings the story up-to-date by examining opposition to the Iraq War and responses to the so-called 'war on terror'. This is history with a modern twist, set in the context of current debates about 'the responsibility to protect', nuclear proliferation, Darfur, and conflict transformation.

• A complete examination of all aspects of the debate about peace in one readable volume • A unique study that combines a history of movements with a history of ideas • Provides an analysis of current opposition to the war in Iraq and responses to the threat of global terrorism


1. What is peace; Part I. Movements: 2. The first peace societies; 3. Towards internationalism; 4. Facing Fascism; 5. Debating Disarmament; 6. Confronting the Cold War; 7. Banning the bomb; 8. Refusing war; Part II. Themes: 9. Religion; 10. A force more powerful; 11. Democracy; 12. Social Justice; 13. Responsibility to protect; 14. A moral equivalent; 15. Realizing disarmament; 16. Realistic pacifism.

Prize Winner

London Book Festival 2008 - Honourable mention


'David Cortright's Peace shows that it is possible to prevent the scourge of war and create a more just and peaceful future - if we are prepared to learn the lessons of history and apply proven peacemaking knowledge. This is a hopeful but realistic book that deserves to be read and studied widely.' Kofi A. Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations

'A realistic yet hopeful book that traces the history of global efforts to prevent war from ancient times to the present, and that examines the foundations of peace in principles of religion, nonviolence, democracy, social justice, and human rights.' Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

'A crowning achievement by a distinguished scholar and social activist. David Cortright documents how the theory and practice of peace have evolved through history. He brings the story up-to-date by showing that a more nonviolent future is possible through the pursuit of justice, democracy, and human rights.' Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

'A comprehensive look at the history of peace, examining the impact of social movements and the evolution of peacemaking knowledge and practice. An exploration of the essential principles and practical means of preventing war and resolving conflict without violence.' Desmond Tutu Archbishop Emeritus

'Cortright's thorough and thoughtful discussion of the ideas and movements that have associated themselves with 'peace' deserves a wide audience.' Foreign Affairs

'Essential reading for all persons committed to promoting peace and justice. … a standard resource that will be kept within easy reach on the bookshelf.' Sojourners Magazine

'David Cortright … has set out a clear and up-to-date history of the ideas and movements that make up the colors on the peace pallet.' Peace Matters

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