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Lawrence Wittner
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Lawrence Wittner received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 1967, and has taught since then at Hampton Institute, at Vassar College, at Japanese universities (under the Fulbright program), and at the State University of New York/Albany, where he is currently Professor of History emeritus. A former president of the Council on Peace Research in History (now the Peace History Society), he has written extensively on the history of peace movements and on the history of United States foreign policy. He has received major fellowships or grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the United States Institute of Peace.

His books include Rebels Against War (1969, rev. ed. 1984), Cold War America (1974, rev. ed. 1978), and American Intervention in Greece (1982). His most extensive project was a scholarly trilogy entitled The Struggle Against the Bomb (1993-2003). In 2009, he came out with an abbreviated version: Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, published by Stanford University Press. His autobiography recently appeared as Working for Peace and Justice: Memoirs of an Activist Intellectual (2012). He has also edited or co-edited four other books, served as co-editor of the scholarly journal Peace & Change, and written more than 250 published articles and book reviews.

Entries by Lawrence Wittner

Who Are the Nuclear Scofflaws?

(3) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 11:38 AM

Given all the frothing by hawkish U.S. Senators about Iran's possible development of nuclear weapons, one might think that Iran was violating the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

But it's not. The NPT, signed by 190 nations, and in effect since 1970, is a treaty in which the non-nuclear...

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Poetry of Sorrow and Hope

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 11:26 AM

David Krieger's new book of poems -- Wake Up! -- shows us that poetry engaged with world affairs can be very powerful.

In a brief introduction to the book, Krieger -- the president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the author of several previous volumes of poetry -- remarks...

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Lauren Coodley's Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 10:27 AM

Can a dedicated socialist have a significant impact upon American life? Lauren Coodley's biography of prominent novelist Upton Sinclair shows that it's possible.

Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore in 1878 ― the son of a railroad baron's daughter and a whiskey wholesaler. Although both parents were descended from the...

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Will the U.S. Government Stand Alone in Rejecting Children's Rights?

(1) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 3:35 PM

Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sometimes called "the most ratified human rights treaty in history," the Convention has been ratified by...

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Are the U.S. and Russian Governments Once Again on the Nuclear Warpath?

(1) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 3:56 PM

A quarter century after the end of the Cold War and decades after the signing of landmark nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements, are the U.S. and Russian governments once more engaged in a potentially disastrous nuclear arms race with one another? It certainly looks like it.

With approximately

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10 Questions for Conservatives

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 5:11 PM

Now that the Republican Party -- the conservative voice in mainstream U.S. electoral politics -- has attained the most thoroughgoing control of Congress that it has enjoyed since 1928, it's an appropriate time to take a good look at modern conservatism.

Conservatives have performed some useful services for Americans over...

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The $7 Million University President

(3) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 9:16 AM

In a recent article about Shirley Jackson, the president since 1999 of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) -- a private university located in Troy, New York -- the Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that, in 2012 (the latest year for which statistics are available), she received over $7 million...

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Do Wars Really Defend America's Freedom?

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:28 PM

U.S. politicians and pundits are fond of saying that America's wars have defended America's freedom. But the historical record doesn't bear out this contention. In fact, over the past century, U.S. wars have triggered major encroachments upon civil liberties.

Shortly after the United States entered World War I, seven states...

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How Rich Are the 400 Richest Americans and How Do They Use Their Money?

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 12:58 PM

In the supposedly classless society of the United States, the wealthiest Americans are doing remarkably well.

According to Forbes, a leading business magazine, the combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans has now reached the staggering total of $2.3 trillion. This gives them an average net worth of...

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The United States Is Number 1 -- But in What?

(137) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 1:54 PM

American politicians are fond of telling their audiences that the United States is the greatest country in the world. Is there any evidence for this claim?

Well, yes. When it comes to violence and preparations for violence, the United States is, indeed, No. 1. In 2013, according to

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Nationalist Illusions

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 2:33 PM

After thousands of years of bloody wars among contending tribes, regions, and nations, is it finally possible to dispense with the chauvinist ideas of the past?

To judge by President Barack Obama's televised address on the evening of Sept. 10, it is not. Discussing his plan to...

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Global Problems Call for Global Solutions

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 12:49 PM

Sometimes, amid the heated political debate about what should done by the U.S. government in world affairs, a proposal cuts through the TV babble of the supposed experts with a clear, useful suggestion.

That proposal came on August 17, when Pope Francis told journalists how he thought the...

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Why Are Campus Administrators Making So Much Money?

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 6:05 PM

Americans committed to better living for bosses can take heart at the fact that college and university administrators -- unlike their faculty (increasingly reduced to rootless adjuncts) and students (saddled with ever more debt) -- are thriving.

In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, 42...

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Doom from the Depths: Coming Your Way

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 4:08 PM

Ever since the horrors of submarine warfare became a key issue during World War I, submarines have had a sinister reputation. And the building of new, immensely costly, nuclear-armed submarines by the U.S. government and others may soon raise the level of earlier anxiety to a nuclear nightmare.

This spring,...

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Does War Have a Future?

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 1:25 PM

National officials certainly assume that war has a future. According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, world military expenditures totaled nearly $1.75 trillion in 2013. Although, after accounting for inflation, this is a slight decrease over the preceding year, many countries increased their military...

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Inequality Deepens on University Campuses

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2014 | 5:04 PM

Is economic inequality growing in American higher education?

A report just issued by the Institute for Policy Studie -- The One Percent at State U -- indicates that it is. Surveying public universities, the report finds that the 25 highest-paid presidents increased their income by a third...

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The Limits of Military Power

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 1:29 PM

Is overwhelming national military power a reliable source of influence in world affairs?

If so, the United States should certainly have plenty of influence today. For decades, it has been the world's Number 1 military spender. And it continues in this role. According to a recent report by...

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Robert Musil's Rachel Carson and Her Sisters

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 3:20 PM

Despite the central role of women in environmental activism, surprisingly little is known about them. Furthermore, what is known is usually limited to the work of Rachel Carson, whose powerful call to action, Silent Spring (1962), is widely credited with jump-starting the modern environmental movement. Fortunately, Robert Musil's new book,...

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Your Doctors Are Worried

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 1:05 PM

Your doctors are worried about your health -- in fact, about your very survival.

No, they're not necessarily your own personal physicians, but, rather, medical doctors around the world, represented by groups like International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). As you might recall, that organization, composed of...

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America's Peace Ship

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 10:50 AM

Is there an emotional connection between the oceans and the pursuit of peace? For whatever reason, peace ships have been increasing in number over the past century.

Probably the first of these maritime vessels was the notorious Ford Peace Ship of 1915, which stirred up more ridicule than...

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