Conscientious Objection: Bertrand Russell & the Pacifists in the First World War



By: Jo Vellacott
April 2015
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9780851248424
326 Pages
$37.50 Paper original


"I am glad to have this book become available again, virtually untouchanged, but with a new title to emphasise the role of the Conscientious Objectors. Although this story of the No-Conscription Fellowship (NVF) focuses on Bertrand Russell's contribution, it has been recognised as contributing to an understanding of how the NCF was made up, how it worked, its successes and failures, and dissensions within it, particularly over the acceptability of various forms of alternative service and of political action in the cause of peace...

Russell's first few months in the No-Conscription Fellowship had qualities which could not last, and could never be replicated. A particular kind of companionship comes when we work closely with a few others in a crisis situation, and Mephy (Russell's nickname), CA (Clifford Allen) and CEM (Catherine Marshall) had it in abundance during the early months of the implementation of the Military Service Act. Russell later forgot the intersity and the joy of the experience, but he left it on record in his letters to Ottoline Morrell."