| NOT OUR WAR|
Writings against the First World War
Edited and introduced by A.W. Zurbrugg
An anthology of First World War voices
Some of the voices here came to oppose the war after reflecting on experience, others opposed it on principle before a shot was fired - they may have been few in number, but gradually their influence rose.
This anthology presents diverse voices of men and women who questioned and opposed the war - liberals, radicals and pacifists, anarchists and socialists, soldiers and non-combatants.
* How did people react to the war? Some short sentences painting brief images come first.
* A second chapter presents texts those who campaigned against militarism.
* The third chapter considers claims that this was a war for civilization, or for the freedom of small nations.
* A last chapter asks questions such as: How could the war have been prevented? And how could it be stopped?
Featured writers include: James Connolly, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, Keir Hardie, Jean Jaurès, Louis Lecoin, V I Lenin, John Maclean, Errico Malatesta, Sylvia Pankhurst, Siegfried Sassoon, et al., - American, Asian, British, French, German, Irish, Italian and Russian. Some of these texts are newly translated, or appear in English the first time.
Almost completely absent, it seems, [in most of the media] are the voices and arguments of those such as Rosa Luxemburg and Eugene Debs, who opposed the First World War and took action to stop it, often at considerable personal risk (both served substantial jail terms, and Luxemburg was murdered at the war's end). Merlin's new anthology of contemporary writings by the war's opponents - some of whose texts appear here in English for the first time - is therefore especially welcome. Peace News
This fascinating collection of writings and speeches is the perfect antidote to those that want to downplay the anti-war feelings that existed during World War One. It is also an excellent resource for those studying the anti-war movements, the socialist and anarchist opposition and the developing rebellions and revolutions against the slaughter. In making this material available, Merlin Press have done us all an immense favour. The editors commentary is also very useful, providing background and sources for further study. Labour Research
The hundreds of short extracts that make up the volume have been painstakingly selected by editor Tony Zurbrugg and are linked together by an informed commentary that gives the context for writings that have been chosen to illustrate the diversity of opposition to the war and the richness of the anti-war arguments. Not Our War is a powerful antidote to the incessant jingoism and nationalistic rewriting of history that characterises much of the official discussion of this horrific episode in the breakdown of modern civilisation. An essential read as we approach the official anniversary jamboree. Socialist History Society Newsletter
Published Spring 2014