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MYTH OF A GUILTY NATION (The Garland library of war and peace)

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Nock

This scarce antiquarian book is a selection from Kessinger Publishings Legacy Reprint Series. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we … see full wiki

Author: Nock
Publisher: Dissertations-G
1 review about MYTH OF A GUILTY NATION (The Garland library...

Not a "chose jugée" at all

  • Mar 10, 2008
Rating:
+3
Published in 1922 by the great individualist-anarchist Albert Jay Nock, "The Myth of a Guilty Nation" is one of the first great works of the first world war "revisionism." In it, Nock challenges the idea -- already entrenched by the terms of the Versailles Treaty -- that Germany was solely responsible for the onset of the war. Nock does not argue, as he takes pains to point out, that Germany bears *no* responsibility. He does say, however, that Germany's responsibility is certainly no greater than that of other nations, and that it may even be less.

By 1921, British premier David Lloyd George had already declared German guilt a "chose jugée" -- a "judged thing" or settled matter, a phrase Nock repeats many times in these pages. Nock however brings together a number of suppressed or forgotten facts, from the relative size of pre-war defense budgets to statements of politicians like Lloyd George himself, to argue that to the extent the question has been "settled," it has been done so on the basis of lies that can only come back to bite the US and its allies in the future.

Nock's book is a short one, and other writers (notably Harry Elmer Barnes) would cover the topic in far greater depth and detail. But Nock's early effort is still worth revisiting. As the causes and consequences of the first world war become ever more lost in the mists of history, the facts Nock brings out -- as well as the example of one of the great men of America's pro-freedom tradition -- are even more worthy of remembering by the Remnant.

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