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David Swanson: Architect of Peace

Author and activist David Swanson consistently argues against war and the imperial ambitions of the United States.

Swanson, who served as the press secretary for the Dennis Kucinich campaign, also helped to introduce Kucinich’s attempt to impeach and prosecute former President George W. Bush. Swanson argues convincingly against the legality of efficacy of war itself, and the ways in which the US Presidency has reached beyond its original constitutional limitations. In 2009, Swanson published Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, which details the ways in which the executive branch has become more extreme in the last few decades.

The main difference between his arguments and those of some others is his insistence on not only the illegitimacy of war as a tool of politics, but its use as a propaganda tool, and an instrument of fear. His book War is a Lie (2010) breaks down specific ways that reveal the true motives of those that wage war, as well as the immediate and long term consequences of keeping military force as one of the primary tools of American foreign policy.

David Swanson’s latest book, When the World Outlawed War (2011), details the process followed by the international community during the negotiation and passage of the Kellog-Briand Pact, which criminalized war “as an instrument of national policy.” In the years following World War I, a growing disillusionment with war created the motivation for a worldwide peace movement, demanding the end of warfare.

Though controversial, Swanson’s work is well researched, and provides important background to activists and scholars of international conflict. Following the important ways in which Swanson illustrates the changes in American policy, public opinion, and positions now taken as a matter of course that once were considered extreme.

If you are looking for peace books, or anti-war books, or books about American Empire, this author is certain to provide good information.  Swanson addresses the history of the peace movement, and the methods used by activists to create change. Swanson is at the forefront of the anti-war movement, and his well researched hands-on approach provides nonviolent solutions to many of the problems faced by our society.

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