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For 16 years, journalist and Washington Monthly president Markos Kounalakis has been wanting to bring Mark Twain’s bitterly anti-war prose piece “The War Prayer” more fully into the public square. Kounalakis read and connected to the famous short story just as he himself was preparing to enter Afghanistan to cover the war there. This week, as the American public seems more receptive to discovering why we ever entered into a warring mindset, Kounalakis is releasing “The War Prayer” as a short animated film that he produced, narrated by Peter Coyote. Have a look. It runs about 14 minutes. I think you’ll be very moved.
Twain wrote “The War Prayer” when he was angry about the Philippine-American War, Wikipedia says, and submitted it to Harper’s Bazaar for publication, but on March 22, 1905, the magazine rejected the story as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” It remained unpublished until 1923.