Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace and War

Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace and War


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Born the year World War I began, acclaimed poet William Stafford (1914-1993) spent World War II in a camp for conscientious objectors. Throughout a century of conflict he remained convinced that wars simply don’t work. In his writings, Stafford showed it is possible—and crucial—to think independently when fanatics act, and to speak for reconciliation when nations take sides. He believed it was a failure of imagination to only see two options: to fight or to run away.

This book gathers the evidence of a lifetime’s commitment to nonviolence, including an account of Stafford’s near-hanging at the hands of American patriots. In excerpts from his daily journal from 1951-1991, Stafford uses questions, alternative views of history, lyric invitations, and direct assessments of our political habits to suggest another way than war. Many of these statements are published here for the first time, together with a generous selection of Stafford’s pacifist poems and interviews from elusive sources.

Stafford provides an alternative approach to a nation’s military habit, our current administration’s aggressive instincts, and our legacy of armed ventures in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and beyond.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571312730
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 10/10/2003
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Noteix
"These Mornings" A poem from 19443
What Is Left for Us: An Introduction5
I.The Mob Scene at McNeil: A Chapter from Down in My Heart13
II.Citizen Here on Earth: Selections from the Daily Writings, 1951-199325
III.A Ritual to Read to Each Other: Poems81
Explaining the Big One84
At the Bomb Testing Site84
At the Grave of My Brother: Bomber Pilot85
A Message from the Wanderer86
At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border87
Peace Walk88
Watching the Jet Planes Dive89
A Ritual to Read to Each Other89
Thinking for Berky90
A Dedication91

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