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BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTES121 Thus Far on My Journey. By E. Raymond Wilson. Richmond, Indiana: Friends United Press, 1976. 308 pages. $5.95. For many Friends, mention of the Friends Committee on National Legislation automatically brings to mind E. Raymond Wilson, die Committee's founder and long-time executive secretary. In his book, Uphill for Peace, Raymond Wilson recounted the history of FCNL, but in the volume under review he has included aspects of his life and work which did not fit into the earlier account. In addition to numerous personal anecdotes which will interest all of Raymond's many friends, this autobiography clearly demonstrates that, even if he had not founded and worked with FCNL, his contributions have been so varied and significant that an account of his work should be preserved in published form. While still in graduate school Raymond Wilson began his life-long service in the peace movement when he began working for the National Committee on Militarism in Education, which advocated education for peace and international understanding, and opposed compulsory military training in colleges and universities, and all military training in secondary schools. His next assignment was to work under Ray Newton with the Peace Section of the American Friends Service Committee, a position which involved much travel and speaking, and coordinating eleven Institutes of International Relations on as many college campuses. From its founding in 1943 until 1975 he served FCNL full time, the last thirteen years as Executive Secretary Emeritus. For these and special assignments, Raymond Wilson traveled thousands of miles in the cause of world peace. In the process, Raymond Wilson also grew and changed. Raised as a Reformed Presbyterian, he joined the Society of Friends in 1936 when he became a member of Frankford Meeting in Philadelphia. He continues to have warm feelings towards the Covenanters, and has always worked to bring all Christian churches to an anti-war witness. As a youth raised on an Iowa farm, Raymond went out of his way to join the Navy, though his experience there began his disillusionment with the military. It was not until after he had worked to end militarism in American education that he became a pacifist. His approach and methods combine idealism and practical tactics. More often than not, Raymond Wilson championed delayed causes, yet his successes are considerable, and the impact of FCNL, with its miniscule staff and budget, is remarkable. There are chapters on early influences on Raymond's life, several trips to Japan and other Asian countries, his years with AFSC, the War Problems Committee (forerunner of FCNL), attempts to stop three wars, hitchhikers Raymond came to know, the place of flowers in his life, his work with the churches, homesteading at Bryn Gweled, and a beautiful tribute to his wife, Miriam. And when one reaches the end of the book it is clear that this is a progress report rather than a summary of a life completed. Raymond devotes the last chapter to his concerns for alleviating world hunger and hastening total disarmament. Raymond Wilson always recognizes the shortcomings and problems of the United States and other nations, yet he never gives the slightest hint of bitterness or disillusionment. He is determined to change things for the 122QUAKER HISTORY better, always giving due recognition to those developments which have moved us in the right direction. Above all, he has constantly maintained and and drawn upon a keen sense of humor which often helps to make his very advanced positions seem to be just common sense. All of us who are interested in the history of Quakerism and the peace movement owe a debt of gratitude to Raymond Wilson for sharing his experiences with us and preserving them for the future. Supplementing the text is a very useful chronology of Raymond's life and sixteen pages of photographs. Wilmington CollegeLarry Gara ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 121-122
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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