The Marginal Mennonite Society’s

Pacifist Reading List

50 pacifists, 65 books

A publication of the Marginal Mennonite Society Tract & Propaganda Department.

Compiled by Charlie Kraybill on behalf of the Marginal Mennonite Society.

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Last revised Oct. 24, 2016.

The MMS Pacifist Reading List 2016

(sorted chronologically by pacifist’s date of birth)


CONRAD BEISSEL (March 1, 1691 – July 6, 1768). Founder of the Ephrata Commune in Ephrata, PA. Pacifist. Born in Eberbach, Germany. Buried in the Ephrata Cloister Cemetery.

The Ephrata Commune: An Early American Counterculture by E.G. Alderfer (Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1985).

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JOHN WOOLMAN (Oct. 19, 1720 – Oct. 7, 1772). Quaker preacher. Abolitionist. Journalist. Mystic. Pacifist. Born in Burlington, NJ. Died in York, England. Buried in York, England.

The Journal and Major Essays of John Woolman by John Woolman (edited by Phillips P. Moulton) (Friends United Press, 1971).

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“MOTHER” ANN LEE (Feb. 29, 1736 – Sept. 8, 1784). Founder of the Shaker communities. Mystic. Pacifist. Born in Manchester, England. Died in Watervliet, NY. Buried in the Shaker Cemetery, Colonie, NY.

Ann the Word: The Story of Ann Lee, Female Messiah, Mother of the Shakers, the Woman Clothed with the Sun by Richard Francis (Arcade Publishing, 2000).

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Elias Hicks

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ELIAS HICKS (March 19, 1748 – Feb. 27, 1830). Quaker preacher. Abolitionist. Universalist. War tax resister. Pacifist. Born in Hempstead, New York. Died in Jericho, NY. Buried in Jericho, NY.

Elias Hicks: A Controversial Quaker by Simon Webb (The Langley Press, 2010).

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GEORGE RAPP (Nov. 1, 1757 – Aug. 7, 1847). Founder of the Harmony Society. Mystic. Pacifist. Born in Iptingen, Germany. Died in Economy, PA.

Utopian Communities in America 1680-1880 by Mark Holloway (Dover Publications, 1966; orig. published 1951).

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SARAH MOORE GRIMKE (Nov. 26, 1792 – Dec. 23, 1873). Quaker. Abolitionist. Suffragist. Pacifist. Born in South Carolina. Died in Boston, MA. Buried in Mattapan, MA.

The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Women’s Rights and Abolition by Gerda Lerner (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2004; orig. published 1967).

LUCRETIA MOTT (Jan. 3, 1793 – Nov. 11, 1880). Quaker minister. Suffragist. Abolitionist. Pacifist. Born in Nantucket, MA. Died in Cheltenham, PA. Buried in Philadelphia, PA.

Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America by Carol Faulkner (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2011).

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Lucretia Mott

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ADIN BALLOU (April 23, 1803 – Aug. 5, 1890). Unitarian minister. Universalist. Socialist. Abolitionist. Communitarian. Pacifist. Born in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Died in Hopedale, MA. Buried in Hopedale.

Christian Non-Resistance by Adin Ballou (Blackstone Editions, 2003; orig. published 1846).

ANGELINA GRIMKE (Feb. 20, 1805 – Oct. 26, 1879). Quaker. Suffragist. Abolitionist. Pacifist. Born in Charleston, SC. Died in Hyde Park, MA. Buried in Mattapan, MA.

Lift Up Thy Voice: The Sarah and Angelina Grimke Family’s Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders by Mark Perry (Penguin Books, 2002).

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON (Dec. 12, 1805 – May 24, 1879). Abolitionist. Suffragist. Journalist. Pacifist. Born in Newburyport, MA. Died in New York City. Buried in Jamaica Plain, MA.

All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery by Henry Mayer (W.W. Norton & Company, 2008).

MARTHA COFFIN WRIGHT (Dec. 25, 1806 – Jan. 4, 1875). Quaker. Abolitionist. Suffragist. Pacifist. Born in Boston, MA. Died in Boston, MA. Buried in Auburn, NY.

A Very Dangerous Woman: Martha Wright and Women’s Rights by Sharon Penney (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2004).

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LEO TOLSTOY (Sept. 9, 1828 – Nov. 20, 1910). Novelist. Philosopher. Anarchist. Social reformer. Pacifist. Born in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Died in Lipetsk Oblast, Russia. Buried in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia.

The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy (Watchmaker Publishing, 2010; orig. published 1893).

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BELVA LOCKWOOD (Oct. 24, 1830 – May 19, 1917). Suffragist. Educator. Lawyer. Politician. Pacifist. Born in Royalton, NY. Died in Washington, D.C. Buried in Washington, D.C.

Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President by Jill Norgren (NYU Press, 2007).

CYRUS PRINGLE (May 6, 1838 – May 25, 1911). Quaker. Botanist. Conscientious objector. Pacifist. Born in East Charlotte, VT. Buried in Charlotte.

The Record of a Quaker Conscience, Cyrus Pringle’s Diary by Cyrus Pringle (MacMillan, 1918).

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BELLE CASE LA FOLLETTE (April 21, 1859 – Aug. 18, 1931). Suffragist. Lawyer. Peace activist. Pacifist. Born in Summit, WI. Died in Washington, D.C. Buried in Madison, WI.

Belle: The Biography of Belle Case La Follette by Lucy Freeman, Sherry La Follette, and George A. Zabriskie (iUniverse, 2001; orig. published 1986 by Beaufort Books).

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Jane Addams

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JANE ADDAMS (Sept. 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935). Unitarian. Suffragist. Social worker. Peace activist. Philosopher. Sociologist. Pacifist. Born in Cedarville, IL. Died in Chicago, IL. Buried in Cedarville, IL.

American Heroine: The Life & Legend of Jane Addams by Allen F. Davis (Ivan R. Dee, 2000; orig. published 1973).

Jane Addams: Spirit in Action by Louise W. Knight (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010).

RUFUS M. JONES (Jan. 25, 1863 – June 16, 1948). Quaker. Theologian. Historian. Mystic. Philosopher. Professor. Pacifist. Born in South China, Maine. Died in Haverford, PA. Buried in Haverford.

Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries by Rufus M. Jones (orig. published by MacMillan, 1914).

The Faith and Practice of the Quakers by Rufus M. Jones (Friends United Press, 2007; orig. published 1927).

LILLIAN D. WALD (March 10, 1867 – Sept. 1, 1940). Suffragist. Social reformer. Humanitarian. Nurse. Pacifist. Born in Cincinnati, OH. Died in Westport, CT. Buried in Rochester, NY.

Always a Sister: The Feminism of Lillian D. Wald by Doris Groshen Daniels (The Feminist Press at CUNY, 1995; orig. published 1989).

Lillian Wald: A Biography by Marjorie N. Feld (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2008).

MOHANDAS GANDHI (Oct. 2, 1869 – Jan. 30, 1948). Revolutionary. Humanitarian. Philosopher. Independence leader. Anti-poverty advocate. Tolstoyan. Pacifist. Born in Porbandar, India. Assassinated in New Delhi, India.

The Story of My Experiments With Truth by Mohandas Gandhi (Dover Publications, 1983; orig. published 1927/29).

Gandhi the Man: How One Man Changed Himself to Change the World by Eknath Easwaran (Nilgiri Press, 1997).

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PETER MAURIN (May 9, 1877 – May 15, 1949). Co-founder of the Catholic Worker. Social activist. Anarchist. Pacifist. Born in Saint-Julien-du-Tournel, France. Died in Newburgh, NY. Buried in Queens, NY.

Peter Maurin: Apostle to the World by Dorothy Day (Orbis Books, 2004).

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Jeanette Rankin

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JEANETTE RANKIN (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973). Suffragist. Civil rights activist. Anti-war activist. Pacifist. Born in Missoula, MT. Died in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. Buried in Missoula, MT.

Jeannette Rankin: America’s Conscience by Norma Smith (Montana Historical Society Press, 2002).

HELEN KELLER (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968). Suffragist. Socialist. Lecturer. Anti-war activist. Pacifist. Born in Tuscumbia, AL. Died in Easton, CT. Buried in Washington, D.C.

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (Bantam Classics, 1990; orig. published 1903).

Light In My Darkness by Helen Keller (Chrysalis Books, 2000; orig. published 1927).

SYLVIA PANKHURST (May 5, 1882 – Sept. 27, 1960). Suffragist. Artist. Pacifist. Born in Manchester, England. Died in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Buried in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire by Katherine Connelly (Pluto Press, 2013).

SCOTT NEARING (Aug. 6, 1883 – Aug. 24, 1983). Socialist. Economist. Educator. War tax resister. Simple living advocate. Pacifist. Born in Morris Run, PA. Died in Harborside, ME.

The Making of a Radical: A Political Autobiography by Scott Nearing (Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2000; orig. published 1972).

BETTY CADBURY BOEKE (April 28, 1884 – 1976). Quaker. Advocate for simple living. War tax resister. Pacifist. Born in Birmingham, England.

Beatrice: The Cadbury Heiress Who Gave Away Her Fortune by Fiona Joseph (Foxwell Press, 2012).

A.J. MUSTE (Jan. 8, 1885 – Feb. 11, 1967). Quaker minister. Labor activist. Anti-war activist. Civil rights activist. War tax resister. Pacifist. Born in Zierikzee, Netherlands. Died in New York City.

American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the Twentieth Century by Leilah Danielson (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).

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VERA BRITTAIN (Dec. 29, 1893 – March 29, 1970). Feminist. Novelist. Poet. Pacifist. Born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. Died in Wimbledon, London, England.

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (Penguin Classics, 2005; orig. published 1933).

One Voice: Pacifist Writings from the Second World War by Vera Brittain (Bloomsbury Academic, 2005).

ALDOUS HUXLEY (July 26, 1894 – Nov. 22, 1963). Agnostic. Novelist. Philosopher. Mystic. Consciousness researcher. Universalist. Pacifist. Born in Godalming, England. Died in L.A., CA. Buried in Compton, England.

The Divine Within: Selected Writings on Enlightenment by Aldous Huxley (Harper Perennial, 2013; orig. published 1992).

BENJAMIN MAYS (Aug. 1, 1894 – March 28, 1984). Baptist minister. Sociologist. Educator. Social activist. Pacifist. Born in Ninety Six, SC. Died in Atlanta, GA. Buried in Atlanta.

Born to Rebel: An Autobiography by Benjamin Mays (Univ. of Georgia Press, 2003; orig. published 1971).

Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography by Randal Maurice Jelks (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2012).

DOROTHY DAY (Nov. 8, 1897 – Nov. 29, 1980). Co-founder of the Catholic Worker. Pacifist. Born in Brooklyn, NY. Died in Manhattan, NY. Buried on Staten Island, NY.

Loaves and Fishes by Dorothy Day (Orbis Books, reprint edition, 2003: orig. published 1963).

The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day by Dorothy Day (edited by Robert Ellsberg) (Image Books, 2008).

All the Way to Heaven: The Selected Letters of Dorothy Day by Dorothy Day (edited by Robert Ellsberg) (Marquette Univ. Press, 2010).

All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day by Jim Forest (Orbis Books, 2011).

HOWARD THURMAN (Nov. 18, 1899 – April 10, 1981). Baptist minister. Theologian. Educator. Philosopher. Civil rights activist. Gandhian. Pacifist. Born in Daytona Beach, FL. Died in San Francisco, CA.

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman (Beacon Press, reprint edition, 2012; orig. published 1949).

With Head and Heart: The Autobiography of Howard Thurman by Howard Thurman (Mariner Books, 1981; orig. published 1979).

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Dorothy Day

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AVA HELEN PAULING (Dec. 24, 1903 – Dec. 7, 1981). Human rights activist. Anti-nuclear activist. Pacifist. Born in Beavercreek, OR. Died in Portola Valley, CA. Ashes buried in Lake Oswego, OR.

Ava Helen Pauling: Partner, Activist, Visionary by Mina Carson (Oregon State Univ. Press, 2013).

HELEN NEARING (Feb. 23, 1904 – Sept. 17, 1995). Advocate of simple living. War tax resister. Pacifist. Born in Ridgewood, NJ. Died in Harborside, ME.

Loving and Leaving the Good Life by Helen Nearing (Chelsea Green Publishing, 1993).

ABRAHAM J. HESCHEL (Jan. 11, 1907 – Dec. 23, 1972). Rabbi. Theologian. Philosopher. Civil rights activist. Pacifist. Born in Warsaw, Poland. Died in New York City.

The Prophets by Abraham J. Heschel (Harper Perennial Classics, 2001; orig. published 1962).

FRANZ JAGERSTATTER (May 20, 1907 – Aug. 9, 1943). Conscientious objector. Pacifist. Born in Sankt Radegund, Austria. Martyred in Brandenburg-Gorden Prison, Germany.

In Solitary Witness: Life and Death of Franz Jagerstatter by Gordon Zahn (Templegate, 1986; orig. published 1964).

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Bayard Rustin

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BAYARD RUSTIN (March 17, 1912 – Aug. 24, 1987). Quaker. Civil rights strategist. Socialist. Gay rights activist. Pacifist. Born in West Chester, PA. Died in New York City.

Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio (Free Press, 2003).

I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters by Bayard Rustin (edited by Michael G. Long) (City Lights Books, 2012).

CLARENCE JORDAN (July 29, 1912 – Oct. 29, 1969). Baptist minister. New Testament scholar. Civil rights activist. Farmer. Communitarian. Pacifist. Born in Talbotton, GA. Died in Americus, GA. Buried on Koinonia Farm.

Clarence Jordan: Essential Writings by Clarence Jordan (edited by Joyce Hollyday) (Orbis Books, 2003).

DAVID DELLINGER (Aug. 22, 1915 – May 25, 2004). Socialist. Conscientious objector. Pacifist. Born in Wakefield, MA. Died in Montpelier, VT.

David Dellinger: The Life and Times of a Nonviolent Revolutionary by Andrew E. Hunt (NYU Press, 2006).

BARBARA DEMING (July 23, 1917 – Aug. 2, 1984). Feminist. Writer. Teacher. Journalist. Advocate of nonviolent social change. War tax resister. Pacifist. Born in New York City. Died in Sugarloaf Key, FL.

A Saving Remnant: The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds by Martin Duberman (The New Press, 2011).

JESSICA MITFORD (Sept. 11, 1917 – July 22, 1996). Atheist. Communist. Journalist. Civil rights activist. Pacifist. Born in Gloucestershire, England. Died in Oakland, CA.

Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford (New York Review Book, 2004; orig. published 1960).

GORDON HIRABAYASHI (April 23, 1918 – Jan. 2, 2012). Quaker. Sociologist. Human rights activist. Civil rights activist. Pacifist. Born in Seattle, WA. Died in Edmonton, Canada.

A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. U.S. by Gordon K. Hirabayashi (Univ. of Washington Press, 2013).

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James L. Farmer, Jr.

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JAMES L. FARMER, JR. (Jan. 12, 1920 – July 9, 1999). Civil rights activist. Socialist. Pacifist. Born in Marshall, TX. Died in Fredericksburg, VA.

Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement by James Farmer (Texas Christian Univ. Press, 2013; orig. published 1985).

ELISE BOULDING (July 6, 1920 – June 24, 2010). Quaker. Feminist. Sociologist. Pacifist. Born in Oslo, Norway. Died in Needham, MA.

Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History by Elise Boulding (Syracuse Univ. Press, 2000).

URSULA FRANKLIN (Sept. 16, 1921 – July 22, 2016). Quaker. Feminist. Anti-war activist. Physicist. Pacifist. Born in Munich, Germany. Died in Toronto, Canada.

The Ursula Franklin Reader: Pacifism As A Map by Ursula Franklin (Between the Lines Books, 2006).

WILLIAM DAVIDON (March 18, 1927 – Nov. 8, 2013). Civil rights activist. Anti-war activist. Physics professor. War tax resister. Pacifist. Born in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Died in Highlands Ranch, CO.

The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI by Betty Medsger (Vintage, 2014).

CORETTA SCOTT KING (April 27, 1927 – Jan. 30, 2006). Civil rights activist. Feminist. Anti-nuclear activist. Musician. Pacifist. Born in Heiberger, AL. Died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Buried in Atlanta, GA.

Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King by Edythe Scott Bagley (Univ. of Alabama Press, 2012).

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (Jan. 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968). Baptist minister. Civil rights activist. Pacifist. Born in Atlanta, GA. Assassinated in Memphis, TN. Buried in Atlanta, GA.

Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by David Garrow (William Morrow and Company, 1987).

Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero by Vincent Harding (Orbis Books, 2008; orig. published 1996).

The Radical King by Martin Luther King, Jr. (edited by Cornel West) (Beacon Press, 2015).

DOROTHEE SOELLE (Sept. 30, 1929 – April 27, 2003). Feminist. Liberation theologian. Pacifist. Born in Cologne, Germany. Died in Goppingen, Germany.

Theology for Skeptics by Dorothee Soelle (Fortress Press, 1995; orig. published 1992).

Against the Wind: Memoir of a Radical Christian by Dorothee Soelle (Augsburg Fortress, 1999; orig. published 1995).

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Coretta Scott King

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ROSEMARIE FREENEY HARDING (July 24, 1930 – March 1, 2004). Civil rights activist. Social worker. Former Mennonite. Pacifist. Born in Chicago, IL. Died in Denver, CO.

Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism, and Mothering by Rachel Elizabeth Harding (Duke Univ. Press, 2015).

VINCENT HARDING (July 25, 1931 – May 19, 2014). Civil rights activist. Historian. Former Mennonite minister. Pacifist. Born in Harlem, NYC. Died in Philadelphia, PA.

There Is A River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America by Vincent Harding (Mariner Books, 1993: orig. published 1981).

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