The Internationalists

How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World

The Internationalists

A bold and provocative history of the men who fought to outlaw war and how an often overlooked treaty signed in 1928 was among the most transformative events in modern history.

On a hot summer afternoon in 1928, the leaders of the world assembled in Paris to outlaw war. Within the year, the treaty signed that day, known as the Peace Pact, had been ratified by nearly every state in the world. War, for the first time in history, had become illegal the world over. But the promise of that summer day was fleeting. Within a decade of its signing, each state that had gathered in Paris to renounce war was at war. And in the century that followed, the Peace Pact was dismissed as an act of folly and an unmistakable failure. This book argues that that understanding is inaccurate, and that the Peace Pact ushered in a sustained march toward peace that lasts to this day.

The Internationalists tells the story of the Peace Pact by placing it in the long history of international law from the seventeenth century through the present, tracing this rich history through a fascinating and diverse array of lawyers, politicians and intellectuals—Hugo Grotius, Nishi Amane, Salmon Levinson, James Shotwell, Sumner Welles, Carl Schmitt, Hersch Lauterpacht, and Sayyid Qutb. It tells of a centuries-long struggle of ideas over the role of war in a just world order. It details the brutal world of conflict the Peace Pact helped extinguish, and the subsequent era where tariffs and sanctions take the place of tanks and gunships.

The Internationalists examines with renewed appreciation an international system that has outlawed wars of aggression and brought unprecedented stability to the world map. Accessible and gripping, this book will change the way we view the history of the twentieth century—and how we must work together to protect the global order the internationalists fought to make possible.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 608 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501109867 | 
  • September 2017
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About the Authors

Oona A. Hathaway
Harold Shapiro

Oona A. Hathaway

Oona A. Hathaway is the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School and the Director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges. She has published essays and opinion pieces in The New York TimesThe Washington PostLos Angeles TimesThe Guardian, and Foreign Policy. She served as the Special Counsel to the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense in 2014-2015, for which she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on International Law for the Legal Adviser of the US Department of State and an active member of the US Supreme Court bar. She earned her BA from Harvard College and a JD from Yale Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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Scott J. Shapiro
Mick Wieland

Scott J. Shapiro

Scott J. Shapiro is the Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School, where he is the Director of the Center for Law and Philosophy. He is also the Visiting Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at University College, London. He earned his BA and PhD degrees in philosophy from Columbia University and a JD from Yale Law School, where he was senior editor of The Yale Law Journal. He is the author of Legality and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and the Philosophy of Law. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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