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8 - Norman Angell


Norman Angell

(1872 - 1967)


Angell was a tireless peace educator and author, publishing dozens of books. He wrote of the threat and irrationality of war, looking forward to a more enlightened world order in which war would have no place.

As a journalist, he knew the powerful influence of popular newspapers; he warned of the poisoning of the international climate by a jingoist press.


Angell's idealism and enthusiasm inspired many people. One of his earliest books, The Great Illusion, 1910, made him world famous. In the first year it was translated into 15 languages. He argued that war is neither inevitable nor profitable; it should be abolished, just as slavery and duelling had been. A revised version of the book, published in 1933, brought him the Nobel Prize.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, in his 1982 Flakland War Memorial sermon, said:

"At the beginning of this century in a noble book, The Great Illusion, by Norman Angell, the irrational character of war in a modern world was precisely described... We flourish and become prosperous, not be raiding and pauperizing our neighbours, but by building them up."

Note: A Labour Party member and foreign policy adviser, Angell was MP for Bradford North, 1929-1931.




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Last modified 2005-01-13 06:29 PM

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