Nobel Voices for Disarmament

Listen to the full album for free and download the lesson plan

Smithsonian Folkways recently released Nobel Voices for Disarmament: 1901-2001 (SFW47005), a stirring collection of new and archival spoken-word recordings by the most prominent advocates for peace during a century marred by war and bloodshed. With thirty-nine tracks organized into eight chapters, Nobel Voices offers testimonials from luminaries such as Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Jane Addams, Jody Williams and Linus Pauling.

Introduced and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor, producer and United Nations Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas, Nobel Voices honors the achievements of the last century's Nobel Peace Prize winners in disarmament and arms control and those who have been inspired by their work.

Listen to Nobel Voices for Free

For a limited time, online listeners can stream individual tracks.

Download the Lesson Plan to Accompany Nobel Voices

Using the speeches on Nobel Voices as a starting point, Smithsonian Folkways is pleased to make a free lesson plan available focusing on listening and critical thinking skills. This plan is best suited for middle-school and high-school audiences.
Download Lesson Plan

More Information about Nobel Voices

After two world wars, the United Nations was created with the purpose of preserving international peace through collective security. However, the post-World War II period also saw an escalating arms race between the superpowers that posed a catastrophic threat to human life and the environment. Many scientists, physicians, and public servants, acutely conscious of the dangers inherent in nuclear war, could not remain silent in the face of such a potential calamity.

Theirs are not the only voices included in this unique compilation. Other exceptional individuals who worked tirelessly to promote humanitarian causes—through the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the United Nations itself—are featured as well.

Their stories exemplify the legacy of Swedish chemist, engineer and inventor of dynamite, Alfred Bernhard Nobel, for whom the award recognizing efforts in international peace was named in 1901. The Nobel Peace Prize remains the most prestigious distinction given to men and women advocating peace and justice.

Produced in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs and the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Nobel Voices is an invaluable historical resource, preserving the most significant speeches and voices in the fight for disarmament in the 20th century. The album is also an empowering educational tool for promoting peace through awareness and giving listeners the opportunity to engage in the process of creating a more humane future throughout the world.

This recording was made possible by the generous support of the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the Principality of Andorra, and the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Produced in collaboration with the United Nations by Peabody Award-winner David Tarnow; text introduction by Michael Cassandra, UNODA.

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