We Who Dared to Say No to War:
American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now
by Murray Polner and Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Basic Books, 2008
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“Nothing short of inspirational. It left me in tears.”
-Angela Keaton, Development Director, Antiwar.com
“An insightful, relevant and varied collection that mines a strong tradition of American protest and principle. Covering the War of 1812 through ‘Iraq and the War on Terror,’ the editors provide a brief background essay for each before ceding the page to essays, interviews, letters, poems and photos from the past 200 years…. Parallels among wars and the present moment are easy to find, and the many warnings hang heavy, given the ambiguous aftermath of America’s conflicts. Eisenhower’s 1961 warning against the abuses of ‘the military-industrial complex’ is a standby centerpiece worthy of another look, but much of the material is just as interesting, informative and impassioned. Foregoing any dry lessons, this history-in-protest is a valuable read for study and conversation in advance of the 2008 presidential election, and should be of interest to a wide audience not limited to history buffs, antiwar activists, and those seeking perspective on today’s war.” [Starred review.]
“While it is the warmakers who usually garner public attention, Polner and Woods remind us that the peacemakers often have had more to say. For it is they who speak to our conscience. In times like these, it is reassuring to know that our history is filled with people who questioned war and asked: why?”
-Rick Shenkman, editor, History News Network
“Standing up to the rhetoric of war is never easy. We Who Dared to Say No to War provides today’s private-citizen peacemakers and public officials with the valuable assurance that others have spoken prophetically against wars for most of our nation’s history. Polner and Woods deserve our deep gratitude for assembling these brave speeches from wars past.”
-Bob Keeler, Newsday Editorial Board
“You don’t have to oppose all American wars to appreciate Tom Woods’ and Murray Polner’s masterful anthology. These essays vividly demonstrate why ‘dissent is patriotic’ is no mere peacenik slogan.”
-Scott McConnell, editor, The American Conservative
My own discussion of the book
Co-editor Murray Polner on the book
Review at BuzzFlash
Review by David Swanson
Audio interview with Scott Horton