Our Fighting Faith - Five Addresses to College Students
by James Bryant Conant (9781406742800)

Our Fighting Faith - Five Addresses to College Students
James Bryant Conant
Release Date: 01 March 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 120
Category: Religion & Beliefs
ISBN: 9781406742800
ISBN-10: 1406742805

OUR FIGilNQ FAITH H FIVE ADDRESSES TO COLLEGE STUDENTS BY JAMES BRYANT CONANT PRESIDENT OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 1942 HT, 1942 BY THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE PRINTED AT THE HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRINTING OFFICE CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, U. S. A.- CONTENTS I. What Are We Fighting to Defend 3 II. Our Unique Heritage 25 III. In This Country There Are No Classes 40 IV. Think On These Things ... 57 V. To the Class of 1942 69 THE USE OF OUR COLLEGES IN TIME OF WAR Widening the Base for Officer Material 87 OUR FIGHTING FAITH FIVE ADDRESSES WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING TO DEFEND 1 o members of a democracy at war a con sideration of their purpose is all-important. In a society of free men and women each in dividual must work out his own conclusions for himself. He must fashion them from the relentless march of events through a long and searching process of debate. Until the Japanese settled the matter for us, we in the United States were of two minds as to whether it would require actual fight ing on our part to win this war. The deep conflict between the ideal of peace and the ideal of freedom was still unresolved. We as a people were torn between our hatred of war and our hatred of the Nazi philosophy of An address to Harvard students over the wired wireless system within the buildings of the University, given at the request of the Harvard Crimson Network on January 20, 1942 a month after Pearl Harbor. 4 OUR FIGHTING FAITH tyranny and fear. But now the time of war has come. The dictators of the iron age have presented us with an unmistakable challenge. It is their way of life or ours. And having answered the attackers bombs, we are determined that the fighting shall not cease until victory is won. The road ahead may be long and arduous, and as a nation we should do well to consider soberly what victory requires. But it is not my purpose this evening to discuss this topic. Neither military strategy, nor the battle of production, nor the mobilization of trained manpower falls within the scope of this brief talk. Rather I should like to discuss the fun damental issue of this war as it affects the citizens of this country. I shall address my self to the single question, what are we fight ing to defend During the course of one hundred and fifty years, we in the United States have evolved a unique form of society. This society is worth preserving. Unhampered by the memories and customs of an earlier feu dal period, one nation our own has been WHAT ARE WE DEFENDING 5 able to develop a representative form of gov ernment resting on universal suffrage. From the outset this government endeavored to provide equality of opportunity for all the people. The resulting social order is differ ent from anything the world has seen before. It holds untold promise for the future. Its destruction would end an era of advance in civilization. Such in brief is my conception of what we are fighting to defend. At times we Americans tend to underesti mate how much is at stake in the continued existence or termination of our way of life. For the distinctive qualities of our heritage are not always easy to understand. The ques tion at issue in this war between the United States and the Axis Powers is not merely the survival of one among several systems of free government. The question at issue is the life or death of a social order for which noequiva lent in either ideals or practice has ever be fore existed. The American way of life is the product both of the deep-seated convictions of a religious people and of the pioneering conditions encountered in the opening up of 6 OUR FIGHTING FAITH a new continent. It is a combination of free doms and restraints, of opportunities and responsibilities, sharing many elements in common with other free systems of govern ment, but at the same time possessing certain special characteristics of its own...

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