[PW] Request help tracing adage about war in Reader's Digest-- but wait, there's more!

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Sun Oct 25 02:42:33 PDT 2015

Donna Halper wrote:
> I don't know if this is related to the original request, but I have noticed
> a variant on the expression (and it seems there are a few others that other
> wombats have found).  I recently found a journal article from 1948 that
> asserted "War settles nothing. It unsettles everything."  The earliest I can
> find such a quote is 9 April 1895, and not about war-- about a tax dispute
> decided by the Supreme Court. The newspapers reporting on it, under the
> headline "It Settles Nothing," and the article said the decision by the
> court settled nothing and unsettled everything.  But by August 1931, there
> were newspaper articles using the quote to say it was war that settled
> nothing and unsettled everything. I'd be happy to provide proper citations
> for this version of the quote if you think this is relevant to the original
> request.

Thanks Donna. There exist a large number of variant expressions, and I
think the entry must retain some focus. Yet, the "settled / unsettled"
dichotomy was interesting. The entry has now been updated with a 1922
citation in "settled / unsettled" family that was pertinent to war.
Here is the updated acknowledgement:

[Begin excerpt]
Additional thanks to Donna Halper who located the 2013 attribution to
Churchill. Halper also pointed to expressions using the words
“settled” and “unsettled”. She found an 1895 instance applied to a tax
dispute and later examples applied to war.
[End excerpt]



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