First World War Peace Forum

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<span style='font-size: 14px;'>A Pacifist at War</span>A Pacifist at War
Letters and Writings 1914-1918
By Bertrand Russell
Edited by Nicholas Griffin

‘The outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 dramatically changed almost everything in Bertrand Russell's life. It was the War that made him a public figure and ensured that henceforth philosophy would only occasionally prevail over politics for his attention ... Unlike so many who went enthusiastically to war in the summer of 1914, Russell knew the War would be a disaster. Nor did he share the general British opinion that Germany was entirely responsible. He thought the secret diplomacy of the Liberal administration under Sir Edward Grey, which had entangled Britain in a series of alliances to defend continental countries against aggression, shared a good deal of the responsibility. He had, moreover, no doubts at all that it was his public duty to oppose the War ... The War made him a popular figure among pacifists and those on the Left who were opposed to it, but it made him persona non grata with the Government, including many of his erstwhile allies in the Liberal establishment (though not with his lover, Ottoline Morrell and her husband, who remained staunchly supportive of the pacifists). The costs to Russell of opposing the War were high. The government fined him, confiscated his passport, placed him under surveillance, banned him from certain parts of the country, and eventually jailed him. He was viciously attacked in print and in person and, on at least one occasion, physically assaulted. He lost his job at Cambridge, his academic career, and many of his former friends. During the War he was dependent on his brother for providing him a place to live and when it ended he was broke, jobless, and exhausted. None of this caused him to waver for a moment in his unrelenting opposition.'

Nicholas Griffin
McMaster University, Canada

'The introduction to the book as a whole, and particularly to individual letters, is very fine, as to be expected from its editor, Nicholas Griffin (editor of Russell's collected papers of the period). The choice of his writings (as distinct from letters) could not be bettered in the space given to them; readers might have preferred these to have been expanded at the cost of fewer of his letters. However, these provide a fascinating insight both into his emotional life and entanglements of the period, and to his participation in the anti-war struggle. His fascinated and fascinating encounters with D.H.Lawrence are particularly well illustrated. As a whole, the collection is a much needed extension to his Autobiography, and as the only reasonably priced way into the vast treasury of his papers of the period, is a must for his admirers, and an education for our time.'
Chris Bratcher

Price: 9.99

218 pages | Paperback
ISBN: 978 0 85124 8370


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>Conscientious Objection: Bertrand Russell</span>Conscientious Objection: Bertrand Russell
and the Pacifists in the First World War
By Jo Vellacott

'I am glad to have this book become available again, virtually unchanged, but with a new title to emphasise the role of the Conscientious Objectors. Although this story of the No-Conscription Fellowship (NCF) focuses on Bertrand Russell’s contribution, it has been recognised as contributing to an understanding of how the NCF was made up, how it worked, its successes and failures, and dissensions within it, particularly over the acceptability of various forms of alternative service and of political action in the cause of peace ...

Russell’s first few months in the No-Conscription Fellowship had qualities which could not last, and could never be replicated. A particular kind of companionship comes when we work closely with a few others in a crisis situation, and Mephy (Russell’s nickname), CA (Clifford Allen) and CEM (Catherine Marshall) had it in abundance during the early months of the implementation of the Military Service Act. Russell later forgot the intensity and the joy of the experience, but he left it on record in his letters to Ottoline Morrell.’
Jo Vellacott

Price: 14.99

340 pages
ISBN: 978 0 85124 8424


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>WAR against WAR!</span>WAR against WAR!
By Ernst Friedrich
Foreword by Bruce Kent

Originally published in Germany on 1st May 1924, this classic pictorial record of the First World War has long been hard to obtain.

'War Against War! is one of the most shocking books I have ever seen. As much a series of photographs as a book, it first appeared in 1924, the work of Ernst Friedrich, an anarchist, socialist, internationalist and peace worker.

Friedrich's aim was to make people understand what war actually means, and the horrors it inflicts on people and, indeed, on animals. Gruesome are the photos of maimed men with their faces blown half away. How did those wretched war victims get through the rest of their lives? Hidden in some home? We do not even know their nationalities: just human beings who went through the horrors of a war which should never have been fought.'
Bruce Kent

Cover: Ernst Friedrich addresses German soldiers in Berlin's Siegesallee, calling them to revolution.

In August 2011, the photographer Craig Ritchie wrote an article about WAR against WAR!, he says: 'The German pacifist anarchist, Ernst Friedrich, ... produced one of the first (and arguably, still the best) photographic attempts at scrutinising warfare in his seminal photobook, WAR against WAR! Since its publication in 1924 there have been as many as a million copies in circulation, translated into forty languages.'

For the full article visit:

Gabriel Carlyle - Peace News, August 2014

Steve Andrew - Morning Star, 4 August 2014

Paul Mason - The Guardian, 23 Nov 2014

Price: 9.99

248 pages | Paperback
200 b/w photos and drawings from the First World War
Commentary in four languages
ISBN: 978 0 85124 8318


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>Inside the Left</span>Inside the Left
By Fenner Brockway

"Fenner Brockway lived a long life and it was certainly packed with colourful action. Here we are reproducing the first volume of his autobiography, which was written on the eve of the Second World War. Never afraid to court controversy, this book celebrated the Socialist movement's opposition to the First World War, and the activities of an anti-war movement which continued after that conflict.

A pupil of Keir Hardie and Bernard Shaw, the young Brockway found his natural home in the Independent Labour Party, which developed his talents as an editor and public agitator. He became acquainted with many of the key personalities of international socialism, and with all the leading figures on the British Left, including H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell and the political spokesmen of the growing Labour movement.

This book contains Brockway's detailed account of the efforts of the British Left to find some kind of political unity during the years of the Labour Party's split, when Ramsay MacDonald formed a National Government. The ILP left the Labour Party, and entered into a variety of negotiations with the Communists and others to attempt to crystallise a Socialist opposition."

Ken Coates
Foreword to the new edition

Morning Star, 22nd March 2010 - John Green

Book of the Month: Fenner Brockway's Inside the Left - by John Green in London Progressive Journal

Price: 18.00

352 pages | Indexed
ISBN: 978 085124 7748
Socialist Classic


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