Published in book form for the first time, Thomas Merton’s Cold War Letters is a collection of 111 letters to friends, peace activists, artists, and intellectuals, written between October 1961 and October 1962 at the height of Cold War tensions. Originally distributed in mimeographed form (after he was forbidden to publish his thoughts on peace), the letters reflect Merton’s prophetic insight into the crisis of his time. As the world seemed to tumble toward Apocalypse, Merton sought in these letters—uncannily relevant for today—to create a community of concern that might raise a moral counterweight to the forces of fear and destruction.
“The Cold War Letters are Thomas Merton at his best, writing to us at our collective worst. If these letters can be understood now by even a few readers, they will help seed the ground for more miracles, equally necessary for our survival today.”—Jim Douglass
Thomas Merton (1916–1968) was a Trappist monk and the author of many books.