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Louisa Thomas

Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family—A Test of Will and Faith in World War I

Louisa Thomas.
Publisher Penguin  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.75 inches
ISBN 9780143120995
Pages/Publication Date 320/2011
Daedalus Item Code 32769
List Price: $16.00
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The great-granddaughter of six-time Socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas, Louisa Thomas presents a remarkable portrait of Norman and his three brothers and the crucible that divided and defined them, World War I. The sons of a Presbyterian minister and the grandsons of missionaries, each followed his conscience in choosing whether to fight—Norman, himself a minister, was a pacifist before the war began and a Socialist by the time it ended. Ralph Thomas heeded Woodrow Wilson's call to fight and was wounded in France. Evan protested conscription and was jailed in solitary confinement at the time of the armistice, while Arthur, the youngest, was in training to be a pilot.

"Every once in a while the story of one man or one family is so well told that it becomes a vehicle for exhibiting an entire age. So it is with this triumphant work. Through the prism of the four Thomas brothers, the dramatic years at the turn of the 20th century are re-created with such vitality that they seem to have happened only yesterday."—Doris Kearns Goodwin

"The thrust of this enthralling book lies within its title: Through the experience of her forebears, Thomas examines how conscience fares when society considers it subversive."—NYTBR

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