Pacifism in Britain, 1914–1945: The Defining of a Faith

TitlePacifism in Britain, 1914–1945: The Defining of a Faith
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1980
AuthorsCeadel, Martin
Number of Pages342
PublisherClarendon Press

This book has two aims: to tell the story of the most significant pacifist movement of modern times - that of Britain in the era of the two World Wars - and, in doing so, to develop a means of analysis that can be applied to pacifist movements in other countries and at other times. Its theme is that, whereas the First World War encouraged British pacifists to believe that their rejection of all war was justified in political terms, the approach of the Second forced them increasingly to realise that it was an absolutist faith which did not stand or fall by its practical consequences. Based on the archives, private papers and propaganda of the peace movements, and on interviews with leading survivors, this book traces the history of such societies as the No More War Movement and Dick Sheppard's Peace Pledge Union, analyzes the problems faced by socialists, Christians, and those simply concerned to prevent a barbaric air war for humanitarian reasons, in reconciling their views with strict pacifism, and examines the conscientious objection movement in both wars. 

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