War Resisters' International was formed in reaction to the slaughter of the first World War with a mission not only to oppose all war but also to strive to eradicate its causes. Embodying the addition of a political dimension to the moral and religious basis of pacifism, it attracted some of the world's best pacifist thinkers and activists, amongst them George Lansbury, Mahatma Gandhi, Bertrand Russell, Bayard Rustin, Martin Niemoeller and Danilo Dolci. The contributions of such figures and the heroism of the thousands who refused to co-operate with their government's war apparatus are chronicled in this book.
The story starts with an account of pacifism and nonviolent action in the context of the major world religions, leading on to developments in pacifist thoughts in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The core narrative of how the WRI was formed and developed over its first half century is based on extensive research in the WRI's historical archive. It sheds light on its many inspired and inspiring actions and debates that have as much relevance today as ever.
Devi Prasad worked with Mahatma Gandhi from 1942 to 1947 and participated in the nonviolent social reform movements in India from independence onwards. He was General Secretary of the WRI from 1962-72, remaining closely involved with the International in the following two decades. He has lived in Delhi since 1983, teaching and making pottery and writing.
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