Back Emily Greene Balch, “Toward Human Unity”

Emily Greene Balch (1867–1961)
From War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar & Peace Writing

Jane Addams (behind the “P” in “PEACE”) and Emily Greene Balch (behind the final “E”) aboard the Noordam in April 1915, on the way to the International Congress of Women at The Hague. (Library of Congress)

Emily Greene Balch was born 150 years ago yesterday (January 8).

In 1946 Balch became the second of only three American women to have received the Nobel Peace Prize—and the first, Jane Addams (who received the award in 1931) was one of her closest friends and associates. Addams and Balch were cofounders of the still-thriving Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, with Addams serving as the organization’s founding president and Balch as its secretary-treasurer. And both women donated all of their prize money to the League.

Balch was a prolific author, not only as an activist, but also as an economist and sociologist. Our Story of the Week feature presents two selections by her: a 1918 letter to Wellesley College expressing her opposition to the war (which resulted in her termination) and excerpts from her Nobel speech thirty years later.

Read “Toward Human Unity” by Emily Greene Balch

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