[PW] Request help tracing adage about war in Reader's Digest

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Sun Oct 11 03:32:31 PDT 2015

Thanks to Donna Halper for locating and sharing the 2013 citation that
misattributed the saying to Winston Churchill. Donna is acknowledged
in the article on this topic now available on the Quote Investigator

War Does Not Determine Who Is Right -- Only Who Is Left

With some perseverance I was able to access key issues in volume 20 of
"The Reader's Digest" and determine that the saying was printed in
February 1932. Shortly afterward in April 1932 the political activist
Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre included the saying in a speech.

Feedback and pertinent citations welcome,

On Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 3:07 AM, Donna Halper <dlh at donnahalper.com> wrote:
> On 10/2/2015 2:12 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>> W0mbats: Your aid is requested for the exploration of an adage about
>> war attributed to Bertrand Russell. Here are two versions:
>> War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
>> War doesn't show who's right just who's left
> And of course, we find this attribution: "Following the Great War of
> 1914-18, Winston Churchill said, "War does not determine who is right --
> only who is left." That claim is recent, from a Canadian newspaper, the
> Winnipeg Free Press, in September 2013, and I have no idea where they got
> the idea that Churchill said it.  Seems a number of of newspapers have used
> this quote over the past few years... I found it turning up regularly
> beginning in the 1932-1933 period, but without any attribution.

More information about the Project-Wombat-Open mailing list