What are you reading this summer?
It’s time for you to share your book choice with other PeaceQuest readers. Your recommendation can be fiction or non-fiction — any subject.
We have a lot of readers in our PeaceQuest community, and our book list posts are quite popular. Just fill in the information and your thoughts in the form below, and we will share it with readers next week.
Here are two we received already:
The Lincoln Highway (2021) by Amor Towles.
It is a work of fiction, set over the course of 10 days in 1954. I like the way that Towles writes chapters from the perspective of each of the characters. I enjoyed his previous novel, ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ and this one is equally good. – Ann
1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War (2014) by Charles Emmerson.
As Emmerson writes, his engaging study is “a book self-consciously engaging with the idea of 1913, and the years before it, as a period of unprecedented globalization, rich in encounters, interconnections and ideas. 1913 was a year of possibility not predestination.”
As he details, it was also a time when the ‘legitimacy’ of modern war was fiercely contested and widely regarded – across Europe, North America, and beyond – as anachronistic, insupportable, and in need not just of regulation (one aim of the Hague Peace Conference process) but abolition. As he writes: “Public opinion was viewed as peaceful the world over.” It was, in some ways, a time far more reflective and radical than our own, even though our own, nuclear age is far more dangerous.
What I value most, apart from the quality of research and writing, is the underlying intellectual assumption of the importance of critical remembrance: the human right to remember clearly the full complexity, contingency, and contradictions of the human past, without which we can so easily misread the present and unnecessarily imperil the future. And, of course, the First World War, whose prehistory is almost never taken into serious account, continues to radiate in the background of wars in the Middle East and, now, the broken heart of Europe. – Sean
(For an excellent review, see 1913 In Search of the World Before the Great War By Charles Emmerson – The Washington Post)