During a half century of writing and lecturing, Elise and Kenneth Boulding have had an unparalleled influence on the peace movement. In voluminous writings - including his 1985 book, ``The World as a Total System,'' and her 1988 volume, ``Building a Global Civic Culture: Education for an Interdependent World'' - they have each combined skillful scholarship across many disciplines with the deep convictions born of their Quaker faith. They are widely credited with being among the first to help launch the broad, citizen-based efforts for peace that developed in the 1950s.
``They're the golden oldies of the peace movement,'' says Rev. William Sloane Coffin, the well-known antiwar activist who is now president of the Washington-based SANE/FREEZE: Campaign for Global Security. ``I think they represent the kind of wisdom that only compassion can produce.''
``They're pioneers,'' agrees Richard Rathbun, president of the Beyond War Foundation in Palo Alto, Calif. ``They are the kind of free-thinkers whose minds move out into the future before many of us even have an insight into what's happening. Some people think of them as being a little flaky or on the fringe. But I think that's almost one of the attributes of people whose minds can move that way.''
``If you have any humanistic or ethical or social bone in your body,'' says George Washington University economist Amitai Etzioni, then you recognize Kenneth Boulding as ``one of the greatest. And Elise is a power all by herself in the disarmament movement - at least as powerful and important there as he is in socio-economics.''