The Russell-Einstein Manifesto

‘Man’s Peril’ was just the beginning of Russell’s efforts. As he recounted in his Autobiography : “It had occurred to me that it might be possible to formulate a statement that a number of very well-known and respected scientists of both capitalist and communist ideologies would be willing to sign calling for further joint action. Before taking any measures, however, I had written to Einstein to learn what he thought of such a plan.” In his letter to Einstein, Russell asked: “Do you think it would be possible to get, say, six men of the very highest scientific repute, headed by yourself, to make a very solemn statement about the imperative necessity of avoiding war?”

Einstein was supportive of Russell’s plan for a statement but was very ill and could do little to help. Russell noted: “He had begged me, nevertheless, to carry out my idea and to formulate the statement myself. This I had done, basing the statement upon my Christmas broadcast, ‘Man’s Peril’.”

Plan of Action dictated by Russell to his wife, Edith. 25 January 1955.

Copy of Russell’s letter to Einstein, seeking his support. 11 February 1955.