Opposition to War

An Encyclopedia of U.S. Peace and Antiwar Movements

by Mitchell K. Hall, Editor


The United States has averaged one major war for each of its citizens' generations, not to mention numerous smaller wars and foreign interventions.

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Cover image for Opposition to War

January 2018


Pages 846
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Military History/Home Front
  American History/Conflict

How have Americans sought peaceful, rather than destructive, solutions to domestic and world conflict? This two-volume set documents peace and antiwar movements in the United States from the colonial era to the present.

Although national leaders often claim to be fighting to achieve peace, the real peace seekers struggle against enormous resistance to their message and have often faced persecution for their efforts. Despite a well-established pattern of being involved in wars, the United States also has a long tradition of citizens who made extensive efforts to build and maintain peaceful societies and prevent the destructive human and material costs of war. Unarmed activists have most consistently upheld American values at home.

Opposition to War: An Encyclopedia of U.S. Peace and Antiwar Movements investigates this historical tradition of resistance to involvement in armed conflict—an especially important and relevant topic today as the nation has been mired in numerous military conflicts throughout most of the current century. The book examines a largely misunderstood and underappreciated minority of Americans who have committed themselves to finding peaceful resolutions to domestic and international conflicts—individuals who have proposed and conducted an array of practical and creative methods for peaceful change, from the transformation of individual behavior to the development of international governing and legal systems, for more than 250 years. Readers will learn how individuals working alone or organized into societies of various size have steadfastly campaigned to stop war, end the arms race, eliminate the underlying causes of war, and defend the civil liberties of Americans when wartime nationalism most threatens them.


  • Provides an unrivaled complete description of peacemaking efforts in the United States that leads readers to consider how future wars might be prevented
  • Draws on the expertise of more than 130 scholarly experts to examine the entirety of American history, from the colonial era to modern times
  • Reveals the multiple religious and secular motivations of peace seekers in the United States
  • Examines how war and those who oppose war have been portrayed in popular media over the centuries
Author Info

Mitchell K. Hall, PhD, is professor of history at Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI. He is a past president of the Peace History Society and former editor of the journal Peace & Change. Hall received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky. His previous publications include ABC-CLIO's Vietnam War Era: People and Perspectives as well as The Vietnam War: Revised 2nd Edition; Crossroads: American Popular Culture and the Vietnam Generation; and Because of Their Faith: CALCAV and Religious Opposition to the Vietnam War.

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