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Robert Frost on Why Nations Go to War

From a 1915 letter to English poet Edward Thomas explaining why Americans were (at the time) against fighting Germany:

But few consider the war any affair of ours. No one goes to war on general grounds of humanity. We extend sympathy on general grounds of humanity. We fight only when our material interests are touched. Yours were when Belgium was invaded; ours weren’t.

From the first volume of Frost’s letters, just released by Harvard.

about the author

Micah Mattix is the literary editor of The American Conservative and an associate professor of English at Regent University.  His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Pleiades, The Washington Times, and many other publications. His latest book is The Soul Is a Stranger in this World: Essays on Poets and Poetry (Cascade). Follow him on Twitter.

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