Collections of important speeches tend to focus on and are organized around nationalistic “flashpoints”—violent interventions, diplomatic crises, battles, and wars—that shape the nation’s identity. Words about war—including scholarly literature on war—vastly outweigh words about peace. In Landmark Speeches in US Pacifism, Susan Schultz Huxman addresses that imbalance by highlighting the rhetoric of peace movements, nonviolent resistance, and anti-war discourse.
Eighteen speeches are featured, from Robert La Follette and Jane Addams in the Progressive Era to Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali on the Vietnam War. Each speech in this collection disarms or disrupts common sensibilities about America’s role in the world. They challenge fundamental positions regarding safety, security, sovereignty, or patriotism, and substitute internationalism, respect for individual conscience, or unconditional love. Ideal for the classroom and collector alike, Landmark Speeches in US Pacifism gives voice to a universal longing for peace.