World: Saints and Statesmen

"I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results. The savants will write excellent volumes. There will be laureates. But wars will continue just the same until the force of circumstances renders them impossible."

So said Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the multimillionaire inventor of dynamite, six years before his death at 63 in 1896 and eleven years before the inauguration of what has become the world's most honorific—and occasionally quixotic—award. Since 1901 a five-person Norwegian Nobel Committee has...

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