1st Edition

The Search for Negotiated Peace
Women's Activism and Citizen Diplomacy in World War I

ISBN 9780415961424
Published December 25, 2007 by Routledge
464 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

The First World War was an epic event of huge proportions that lasted over four years and involved the armies of more than twenty nations, resulting in 30 million casualties, including more than 8 million killed. Set against the backdrop of this massive carnage, The Search for Negotiated Peace is the gripping story of the events that moved high profile American and European citizens, particularly women, into the international peace movement. This small, transatlantic network put forth proposals for changing the international system of negotiation. They supported non-annexationist war aims and attempted to discredit nations’ secret diplomacy, militarism and narrowly nationalistic practices. Instead, they wanted to develop a ‘new diplomacy.’

David Patterson skillfully develops the interactions of many of the notable leaders of the movement, including Jane Addams, Aletta Jacobs, and Rosika Schwimmer, into an absorbing narrative that brings together the various strands of women's history, international diplomatic history, and peace history for the first time. The Search for Negotiated Peace is an essential read for anyone interested in the social history of World War I and the foundations of citizen activism today.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



  1. First Efforts
  2. Women at The Hague
  3. Private Diplomacy in Europe
  4. Peace Workers and the Wilson Administration
  5. More Momentum and New Directions
  6. Climax and Anti-Climax
  7. Two Discomfiting Episodes
  8. Reappraisals and Political Realities
  9. Peace Feelers in Europe
  10. Woodrow Wilson’s Independent Mediation
  11. Aftermath
  12. Conclusion
  13. Appendices

    1. Women’s Interviews with European Political Leaders
    2. Peace Advocates’ Interviews with President Wilson
    3. British Women Supporters of the Hague Congress

A Note on Sources




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David Patterson has served as a historian in both academia and government. Besides teaching at several universities, he was chief editor of the Foreign Relations of the United States series at the U.S. Department of State for several yeras. Besides numerous scholarly articles, Patterson is author of Toward a Warless World: The Travail of the American Peace Movement, 1887-1914.


"In this engaged and insightful narrative of the internationally-minded citizens’ peace movement of the Great War era, David Patterson helps us appreciate that we can, indeed must, study flawed efforts to achieve peace in past times to help us fashion a more humane and peaceful world for the future."

—Frances H. Early, author of A World Without War: How U.S. Feminists and Pacifists Resisted World War I

"Patterson’s study, weaving diplomatic records with private papers, provides a thorough appreciation of that unpopular but far-seeking commitment where women’s initiatives were crucial. It shows what was visionary and "utopian" in 1914 became received wisdom by war’s end."

—Sandi E. Cooper, author of Patriotic Pacifism: Waging War on War in Europe, 1815-1914

 "[A] welcome contribution to the fields of peace and diplomatic history ... Patterson offers an intriguing multiyear glimpse into the lives of peace activists who pressed on despite often-discouraging responses from foreign government officials ... One of the book’s strengths is its focus on the interplay of the women’s longstanding domestic reform agendas and their international diplomatic efforts to bring the war to an end and to negotiate postwar reforms."

—Rachel Waltner Goossen, Washburn University, in Peace & Change

"Readers interested in an exceptionally detailed accounting of the efforts of ordinary citizens to secure a negotiated peace will find this volume indispensable."

—Kara Dixon Guic, Bridgewater College, USA, in First World War Studies