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Writing Peace
The Unheard Voices of Great War Mennonite Objectors
Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History Series 40

Melanie Springer Mock

Foreword by James C. Juhnke


Summary: Writing Peace publishes, for the first time, the diaries of several Mennonite conscientious objectors from the First World War. This edition uses historical, biographical, and literary approaches to understand these diaries and their significant role in telling the historical narrative of the Mennonites and of wartime in America.

Comment: "With almost cinematic drama and scope, Melanie Springer Mock explores in Writing Peace: The Unheard Voices of Great War Mennonite Objectors the struggles of young conscientious objectors to protect their honor—and yet retain their belief in country—during America’s first world war. From the beginning of their journey, these men of deep faith, conscripted to fight for their homeland, faced a hard decision—journey to France and the battle, or endure confinement in American military barracks for their refusal to bear arms. Mock brings us every colorful moment of this unique American story by establishing and presenting—for the first time—clear and reliable texts of each of four representative diarists whose personal nightmares she unflinchingly and sensitively recounts.

"Using the most scrupulous and contemporary standards for textual editing, Mock edits the diaries and then details in an engaging and lively introduction the American cultural climate during the years of the Great War that led to the shunning of conscientious objectors. She identifies the particular problems the Mennonites faced and draws a series of conclusions that reveal the all-too-alarming reactions of the American public—then, and perhaps now—to a policy of non-violence.

"The most impressive feature of Writing Peace is its readability. Beautifully penned, Melanie Springer Mock’s first book creates a sensitive and intriguing story of a little known event in American history. Free of jargon and trenchant academic prose, Writing Peace captures the triumph and tragedy of a people that represents a saga in American history."
—Jeffrey Walker, Department of English, Oklahoma State University

Market: Anyone drawn to the history of resistance to warfare; historians, students of Anabaptism, church leaders, pastors interested in this compelling analysis as well as rediscovery of the voices of those who, though jailed for their convictions, pursued their alternate visions.

Shelving: History—Anabaptist, Mennonite, of World War I; conscientious objectors; Nonviolence, nonresistance, pacifism. BISAC: History, Biography, Religion. RTM: 170, Biography; 430 History/American; 690 Religion/Ethics.

Publisher: Pandora Press U.S. (the original name of Cascadia Publishing House)
Copublisher: Herald Press, Scottdale, PA
Publication date: March 2003
Pages: 348
Format: 6 x 9 trade paper
Prices: $23.95 US, $35.95 Can.
ISBN: 1-931038-09-0


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Copyright 2003 by Cascadia Publishing House
07/19/08