Friday, May 22, 2015

World Peace Through World Law

"Dr. Einstein, why is it that when the mind of man has stretched so far as to discover the structure of the atom we have been unable to devise the political means to keep the atom from destroying us?" "That is simple, my friend. It is because politics is more difficult than physics."

Grenville Clark quoted this memorable exchange in a tribute he wrote for Einstein published in the New York Times following Einstein's death in April 1955. Clark had overheard this conversation at a conference about disarmament and world government that took place in January 1946, at Princeton, New Jersey, five months after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Clark was a prominent Harvard educated New England lawyer who was deeply involved in the world government movement. This political movement advocated two imperatives following World War II: no peace without disarmament and no disarmament without limited world government. The Princeton Conference, which Albert Einstein attended, was a continuation of a prior conference that took place in Dublin, New Hampshire, in October 1945. Clark organized this series of conferences as a way to forward proposals for a world government and amend the United Nations Charter. Clark and the conference attendees, including Albert Einstein, sought to make the United Nations a truly effective world institution for the maintenance of peace in a disarmed world governed by law.

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Clark worked tirelessly as a leading advocate for the world government movement. In 1953, Clark published a book titled, Peace Through Disarmament and Charter Revision: Detailed Proposals for Revision of the United Nations Charter, which Albert Einstein read and commented on in a letter he sent to Clark in September of that year. In this letter, Einstein stated how he had "read [Clark's] propositions for an attempt to make the United Nations strong and effective enough to solve the international problem of peace and security" and "hope[d] that [his] work will have the recognition and influence it deserves."

Clark's dedication to achieving world peace through enforceable world law became the subject of his major work, World Peace Through World Law, co-authored with Louis B. Sohn. In this book, Clark and Sohn proposed revisions to the United Nations Charter. This book advocated for a truly international world state, a unicameral parliament chosen on the basis of weighted population bases, a vetoless executive arm, a world court, and a world police force. Following its publication in 1958, World Peace Through World Law was translated into numerous languages and became a classic of international relations.

To see Einstein's correspondence with Clark, come to Rauner and ask for ML-7 box 160, folder 70. To see the numerous translations of World Peace Through World Law, ask for Rare JX 1977 .C554.  And lastly, if you’re interested in learning more about Grenville Clark in general, check out the full finding aid to his papers at Dartmouth: http://ead.dartmouth.edu/html/ml7_fullguide.html

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Translated from the Original Equine

If a horse could tell his own story, what would he say? Anna Sewell embraced this challenge when she “translated” the story of Black Beauty in her famous novel, Black Beauty: His Grooms and Companions: The Autobiography of a Horse (London: Jerrold and Sons, 1877). The first edition, bound in green cloth and stamped in black and gold, sold quickly in Victorian England; no one had read a story from an animal’s perspective before. Since it was published in 1877, Black Beauty has become one of the world’s most popular books, selling more than fifty million copies and inspiring a slew of movies, plays, and stories told from an animal’s point of view.

Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty with a specific purpose: improving animal rights. As she writes in the novel’s dedication, Sewell was “devoted to the welfare of others.” After growing up with injuries and diseases that limited her ability to walk, Sewell became invested in the lives of the horses upon whom she depended every day. Beauty, the narrator, may even be based on one of the Sewell family horses--an opinionated black mare named Bess. Not only does Black Beauty capture the centrality of horses in Victorian life, from the transportation of people and goods to war, style, and sport, it also gives its characters an emotional complexity that resonates with both juvenile and adult readers.

The best-selling first edition, published just five months before Sewell’s death, had a widespread impact on the early animal rights movement, both in its native England and the United States. While Sewell includes a note at the end of this edition, in which Black Beauty’s “Translator” asks the reader to learn and practice proper animal care, it is Beauty's stories that have the most impact. With both humor and heartbreak, he describes kind treatment and cruel abuse, along with practices that harmed horses for the sake of fashion, like the bearing reins that forced carriage horses to hold their heads unnaturally high. Black Beauty, and the movement it inspired, produced the first legislation that would begin to curtail practices like this, and the abuse of animals in general.
There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.
--Black Beauty

To follow Beauty on his journey, ask for Rare PR 5349.S427 B6 1877.

Posted for Emily Estelle '15.