The Next Page

43: Dr. Hope Elizabeth May on Bertha von Suttner and the power of positive history

January 26, 2021


This episode introduces a key figure in the 19th century peace movement: the Austrian writer, activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bertha von Suttner. Who was she, what did she work towards, and how does her contribution connect to our present day? Dr. Hope Elizabeth May, Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Center for International Ethics at Central Michigan University, joins The Next Page to share more about Bertha and her current research as part of the Bertha von Suttner project. 

This episode is a companion to the event held on 26 January 2021 at the UN Library and Archives Geneva, Bertha von Suttner: A Woman Ahead of Her Time, where Dr. May and Colin Wells (Project Manager of the Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives), explore her role as an activist and political thinker, her influence on the establishment of the  first multilateral institutions, and her action in favor of international peace.  

In spite of her achievements, unthinkable for a woman of her time, many do not know about her work and life. This episode, as well as the online event, are designed as an introduction to her work and ideas. We hope you enjoy!


Episode Transcript: 

To watch the replay of the online event, visit: 

Explore resources about Bertha and the peace movement at the Library & Archives in this Research Guide on Bertha von Suttner: 

Learn more about the Bertha von Suttner Project: 


Speaker: Dr. Hope Elizabeth May

Host/Editor: Natalie Alexander

Producer: Natalie Alexander

Images: Dr. Hope Elizabeth May

Social media designs and transcript: Karen Lee & Natalie Alexander

Recorded & produced at the United Nations Library & Archives Geneva


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