Appointment on the Hill

Appointment on the Hill

Appointment on the Hill

Appointment on the Hill

Excerpt

"The only good histories," said Montaigne, "are those written by the persons themselves who commanded in the affairs whereof they write." But if there is validity in this contention, there is also a flaw. No one individual ever commands alone in the affairs whereof he writes, nor do mutual experiences bring the same impacts, the same emotional response to those who share them. For no two chroniclers can see events with the same eyes; feel the compulsions of those events with the same heart; nor measure their significance with the same mind. Therefore, Montaigne's good histories will reflect not only the dogmas and bias, the aspirations and values of the participant who reports them, but they will inevitably spotlight him in the most conspicuous place upstage.

This book is no exception. It is a personal record, and like all personal records, it is heavily encrusted with "the most disgusting pronoun."

Yet the movement for peace which developed during the crucial years which spanned two wars was never a private crusade; it was a co-operative, shared adventure. A movement rises out of the expanded aspirations of a few, and those who are identified with it soon recognize that painful but paradoxical truth: how unimportant to a movement is any individual-- and how important. He is unimportant since the Cause alone is paramount; he is important only because every deflection, every hesitant loyalty weakens that Cause. And if the Cause exists only for the promotion of a principle, and offers none of the seductions of power, it will attract a leadership which is both disinterested and dedicated.

It was under such a leadership that I served in the peace . . .

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