The conventional history of nations, even continents, is a history of warfare. According to this view, all the important ideas and significant changes of humankind occured as part of an effort to win one violent, bloody conflict or another. But there have always been a few who refused to fight. Following the grand sweep of history from Confucius to Tolstoy, Erasmus to Gandhi, bestselling author Mark Kurlansky traces pacifism and its proponents to show how many modern ideas, a united Europe, the United Nations, and the abolition of slavery – originated in non-violence movements.
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