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Never Again!   By: (1844-1929)

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Never Again! by Edward Carpenter is a profound and thought-provoking account of one man's journey through the horrors of war and his subsequent quest for peace and understanding. As a survivor of the Great War, Carpenter's personal narrative provides a harrowing insight into the devastating impact of conflict on the human psyche and the lasting scars it leaves behind.

One of the most striking aspects of this book is Carpenter's raw and unflinching honesty. He offers a brutally frank portrayal of the brutality and futility of war, sparing no detail in recounting the horrors he witnessed and experienced firsthand. His vivid descriptions of battles and the toll they take on both body and mind are at times difficult to read, but they serve as a stark reminder of the inhumanity of armed conflict.

However, Never Again! is not solely a recounting of wartime experiences. Carpenter goes beyond his personal trauma to explore the deeper causes of war and the societal structures that perpetuate it. He delves into the role of capitalism, nationalism, and political ideology in fueling conflict, offering a scathing critique of the systems that lead nations into bloodshed and destruction.

But where Never Again! truly shines is in Carpenter's unwavering commitment to peace and his vision for a better world. Through his own transformative journey, he emphasizes the importance of empathy, understanding, and compassion as necessary tools to break the cycle of violence. His passion for pacifism and his conviction that another world war must never be allowed to happen again are palpable throughout the book.

Written in a clear and concise style, Never Again! is accessible to readers from all walks of life. Carpenter's voice resonates with authenticity and sincerity, carrying the weight of his experiences and beliefs. The book's pacing is well-managed, alternating between intense, graphic anecdotes and more reflective passages, ensuring a balanced narrative that remains engaging from start to finish.

While the book does not offer a detailed analysis or propose concrete solutions to the complex issue of war, it serves as a clarion call for readers to question the status quo and actively work towards a more peaceful future. It compels us to examine our own roles, responsibilities, and contributions to society, urging us never to forget the lessons of the past.

Overall, Never Again! is a compelling and necessary read for anyone interested in understanding the true cost of war and the importance of striving for peace. Edward Carpenter's personal account is a poignant reminder of the individual tragedies that lie behind every statistic, and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Ultimately, it leaves readers with a sense of hope that a world without war is not only possible but essential.

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(A protest and a warning addressed to the peoples of Europe)

by Edward Carpenter

Never again must this Thing happen. The time has come if the human race does not wish to destroy itself in its own madness for men to make up their minds as to what they will do in the future; for now indeed is it true that we are come to the cross roads, we stand at the Parting of the Ways.

The rapid and enormous growth of scientific invention makes it obvious that Violence ten times more potent and sinister than that which we are witnessing to day may very shortly be available for our use or abuse in War. On the other hand who can doubt that the rapid growth of interchange and understanding among the peoples of the world is daily making Warfare itself, and the barbarities inevitably connected with it, more abhorrent to our common humanity?

Which of these lines are we to follow? Along which path are we to go? This is a question which the mass peoples of Europe in the future and not merely the Governments will have seriously to ponder and decide.

That bodies of men as has happened a hundred times in the trenches in Northern France and even on the Eastern Front should exchange morning salutations and songs in humorous amity, and then at a word of command should fall to shooting each other;

That peasants and artisans, and shopkeepers and students and schoolmasters, who have no quarrel whatever, who on the whole rather respect and honour each other, should with explosive bombs deliberately blow one another to bits so that even their own mothers could not recognize them; That human beings should use every devilish invention of science with the one purpose of maiming, blinding, destroying those against whom they have no personal grudge or grievance; All this is sheer madness... Continue reading book >>

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