The Original Peaceniks

Acts of Conscience
Christian Nonviolence and Modern American Democracy
Joseph Kip Kosek
Columbia University Press, $50, 376 pp.

In his new history of Christian nonviolence from World War I to Vietnam, Joseph Kip Kosek asks what this movement has offered American democracy, and how much of the offer has been accepted. The book is largely about a single organization, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), founded in the first months of World War I by European and American liberal Protestant pacifists. The quietism of the historic peace churches—Mennonites, Quakers, and the Brethren—keeps them on...

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