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Cover for the book Not in Our Name

Not in Our Name

American Antiwar Speeches, 1846 to the Present Edited by Jesse Stellato
  • Copyright: 2012
  • Dimensions: 7 x 10
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-04868-0
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-04869-7
“Jesse Stellato's splendid collection of antiwar speeches, Not in Our Name, presents material unique to the literature of protest and dissent, one of the glories of American letters and a tribute to the power of open democracy and the First Amendment. Stellato's analysis and commentary reveal rich veins of political rhetoric, some more familiar, some unjustly forgotten, while opening up the larger question of how language that is consciously crafted can shape national life and foreign policy.  Here the decisions of government may conflict with the will of its citizens.  Reading these speeches, we realize that the exercise of power and the power of the aesthetic, the practice of historical interpretation and the creativity of literature, often inhabit the same words.”
“As a longtime antiwar activist and a rhetorical historian who studies U.S. empire, I welcome this project with a glad heart and open arms—finally, an anthology to help America remember its long and rich history of opposing war. Taken as a whole, I suspect that the book will become an instant classic. Its breadth is impressive.”

Not in Our Name collects and analyzes the most important antiwar speeches in American history. It is a book about the origins and consequences of America’s wars, but also about the integrity and sacrifices of those who fought on the front lines of dissent. By telling the stories of the people who spoke out in good-faith disagreement with their government and fellow citizens, Not in Our Name records some of the most compelling acts of courage in American politics and some of the most passionate, beautiful, and mighty speeches in American history.

In Not in Our Name, Jesse Stellato presents the history of American antiwar speeches in a readable way that is neither pacifist nor partisan, featuring speakers with diverse backgrounds and political beliefs. By combining historical research with a review of classical Greek and Roman rhetorical theory, Not in Our Name also helps answer a fundamental question: “What makes a great antiwar speech?”

Jesse Stellato is an author and lawyer residing in Miami, Florida. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School.



Editor’s Note


1 Mexican-American War

Theodore Parker Delivers “A Sermon of War”

Charles Sumner Calls for the Withdrawal of American Troops from Mexico

Abraham Lincoln Inveighs Against President Polk

2 Civil War

Clement Vallandigham Argues That the War Cannot Be Won

Alexander Long Proposes Peace at Any Price

3 Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection

Moorfield Storey Warns of a Dangerous and Growing Militarism

Charles Eliot Norton Defines “True Patriotism”

Carl Schurz Discusses the Perils Faced by an Occupying Force

Charles Eliot Norton Accuses America of “Counterfeit Patriotism”

4 World War I

William Jennings Bryan Resigns as Secretary of State to Launch an Antiwar Crusade

George Norris Assails the Senate’s War Resolution

Robert La Follette Argues That the War Lacks Popular Support

Kate Richards O’Hare Discusses the War’s Degradation of Women

Eugene V. Debs Argues That the Working Class Will “Furnish the Corpses” of War

5 World War II

Norman Thomas Discusses War’s Effect on Civil Liberties

Richard Wright Justifies AfricanAmerican Opposition to World War II

Charles Lindbergh Asks, “Who Are the War Agitators?”

6 Korean War

Paul Robeson Declares That Blacks Will Never Fight the Soviet Union

W. E. B. Du Bois Runs for Congress on a Peace Platform

7 Vietnam War

Martin Luther King Jr. Urges Americans to Go “Beyond Vietnam”

Eugene J. McCarthy Celebrates the “Spirit of 1963”

Robert F. Kennedy Says of the War in Vietnam: “It Must Be Ended”

Shirley Chisholm Demands “People and Peace, Not Profits and War”

Fannie Lou Hamer Rallies Antiwar Students at Berkeley

John Kerry Testifies on Behalf of Vietnam Veterans Against the War

8 War on Terror

Barbara Lee Pleads with the House Not to “Become the Evil That We Deplore”

Barack Obama Criticizes a “Dumb War”

Noam Chomsky Asks, “Why Iraq?”

Robert Byrd Chastises the Senate for Standing “Passively Mute”

Epilogue: The Globalization of Dissent

Arundhati Roy Rails Against “Imperial Democracy”

Appendix A: Full-Text Sources

Appendix B: Rhetorical Devices in Antiwar Speeches


Biographical and Bibliographical Notes



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