A Peaceful Superpower: Lessons from the World's Largest Antiwar Movement

David Cortright

NYU Press, 2023

As the Bush administration prepared to wage war against Iraq, millions of people in the United States and around the world took to the streets to warn against the impending disaster. It was the largest wave of antiwar protest in history. This is the story of those dramatic events, told by distinguished peace scholar and activist David Cortright. This revealing account offers an insider view of the emergence of the movement and its political and communications strategies in attempting to prevent the attack. It reviews the arrogance of power as senior officials rejected public and expert opinion and rushed ahead with their ill-fated invasion. The book traces efforts by opponents of the war to end the worsening conflict and win Congressional approval for the withdrawal of troops. Cortright explores the role of the Iraq issue and the impact of antiwar networks in propelling Barack Obama to the White House, and the frustrations many activists felt in navigating the limitations of conventional politics. Readable, insightful and passionately argued, A Peaceful Superpower provides a definitive analysis of the impacts of the Iraq antiwar movement and a hopeful look at the power of civil society to shape the course of history.