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Fall 2021 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for fall 2021 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

The Quaker Star Under Seven Flags, 1917-1927

John Van Gelder Forbes

280 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth 1962 | ISBN 9781512811582 | $79.95s | Outside the Americas £64.00
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512815979 | Buy from Combined Academic Publishers £64.00
An Anniversary Collection volume
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Between the years 1917 and 1927, the American Friends Service Committee of Philadelphia worked with agencies of seven governments to bring help to civilian victims of the first world war. This small private committee held fast to its original conviction that relief out to be administered to sufferers of famine and plague—not from political motivations but because such help was right, humane, and necessary.

John Forbes's study The Quaker Star Under Seven Flags traces, through the war and its aftermath, the committee's negotiations with the governments of the United States, France, Serbia, Austria, German, Poland, and Soviet Russia. Forbes describes the field programs that were undertaken in cooperation with these governments after agreement was reached and carried out in collaboration with the great public enterprises that were also pioneering in overseas relief

The book relates how the members of the Religious Society of Friends upheld the Society's commitment for peace not only by refusing to bear arms but also by working with the State and War Departments of the United States, as well as with the American Red Cross and the American Relief Administration. Joined by the British Friends War Victims Relief Committee, and in conjunction with officials of the stricken lands, they carried food, clothing, medicine, and hope across the English Channel into the heart of continental Europe, as far east as revolutionary Russia.

A stirring account of the contribution toward peace of a selfless and courageous group, The Quaker Start Under Seven Flags illuminates some of the modern world's disturbing and puzzling foreign-aid problems. It indicates that it is not only the quantity of aid and the efficiency of its administration that counts but also the spirit in which it is given.

John Forbes received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1951 and taught at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois.

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