“Dr. Pauling writes with a noble passion, which even the most hardened cynic must respect….[No More War!] should be widely read and deeply pondered.”
– Philip Noel-Baker, 1958.
A few weeks ago, Linda Richards, an Oregon State University History of Science graduate student, approached us with an idea to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of No More War! — Linus Pauling’s renowned plea for peace, written over two long weekends in hurried response to Edward Teller’s Our Nuclear Future.
The terrific article that arose out of this meeting, “No More War! 50 Years Later,” is now available on the website of a new campus publication, Life@OSU.
A focal point of Richards’ commentary is this 1983 quote, written by Pauling in the Preface to the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of his famous book.
Twenty-five years ago the message of this book was that the development of great nuclear weapons requires that war be given up, for all time – that the forces that can destroy the world must not be used.
This is still the message of the book.
The danger of world destruction in a nuclear war is greater than ever before…I hope that when the year 2008 arrives, after another 25 years, the world will have survived and the human race still will be here (although I probably shall no longer be living) but that there will be no need to republish the book, because the goal of world peace will have been achieved, militarism and nuclear weapons will have been brought under control and the threat of world destruction will finally have been abolished.
Whether or not the world’s civilizations have advanced appreciably toward the ideal that Pauling envisioned for 2008 is a question very much open to debate. What seems to be clear, however, is the continuing relevance of Pauling’s writings on the topic.
In this spirit, we urge our visitors to read Richards’ text in its entirety. We also hasten to add that copies of the 1983 edition of No More War! are available for purchase from the OSU Libraries Special Collections.
Finally, for those who are interested in learning more about the Pauling peace legacy, please have a look at the website Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement: A Documentary History.