Anti-war movement  

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"The days stand like angels in gold and blue, beyond our grasp, over the circle of destruction."--All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) by Erich Maria Remarque

Over the years, people I’ve met have often asked me what I’m working on, and I’ve usually replied that the main thing was a book about Dresden.
I said that to Harrison Starr, the movie-maker, one time, and he raised his eyebrows and inquired, ‘Is it an anti-war book?’
‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I guess.’
‘You know what I say to people when I hear they're writing anti-war books?’
‘No. What do you say, Harrison Starr?’
‘I say, “Why don't you write an anti-glacier book instead?”’
What he meant, of course, was that there would always be wars, that they were as easy to stop as glaciers. I believe that too. --Slaughterhouse-Five, 1969, Kurt Vonnegut

"A number of literary critics consider The Good Soldier Švejk to be one of the first anti-war novels, predating Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Joseph Heller said that if he had not read The Good Soldier Švejk, he would never have written his novel Catch-22." --Sholem Stein

La pendaison (The Hanging) from Les Grandes Misères de la guerre (1633) by Jacques Callot
La pendaison (The Hanging) from Les Grandes Misères de la guerre (1633) by Jacques Callot

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The term anti-war sometimes refers to pacifism, i.e., opposition to all use of military force during conflicts, but most often is used in the context of opposing one particular nation's decision to wage war. Many activists distinguish between anti-war movements and peace movements. Anti-war activists believe that most wars have an aggressor and that their movement works to ensure that the aggressor (whose goals they see as selfish) ends their war.

Arts and culture

Probably the first anti-war piece of literature is Lysistrata.

English poet Robert Southey's 1796 poem After Blenheim is an early modern example of anti-war literature — it was written generations after the Battle of Blenheim, but at a time when England was again at war with France.

World War I produced a generation of poets and writers influenced by their experiences in the war. The work of poets including Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon exposed the contrast between the realities of life in the trenches and how the war was seen by the British public at the time, as well as the earlier patriotic verse penned by Rupert Brooke. German writer Erich Maria Remarque penned All Quiet on the Western Front, which, having been adapted for several mediums, has become of the most often cited pieces of anti-war media.

Pablo Picasso's 1937 painting Guernica, on the other hand, used abstraction rather than realism to generate an emotional response to the loss of life from the fascist bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. American author Kurt Vonnegut used science fiction themes in his 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five, depicting the bombing of Dresden in World War II (which Vonnegut witnessed).

The second half of the 20th century also witnessed a strong anti-war presence in other art forms, including anti-war music such as "Eve of Destruction" and One Tin Soldier and films such as M*A*S*H and "Die Brücke", opposing the Cold War in general, or specific conflicts such as the Vietnam War. The current American war in Iraq has also generated significant artistic anti-war works, including film maker Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, which holds the box-office record for documentary films, and Canadian musician Neil Young's 2006 album Living with War.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Anti-war movement" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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