Sir Norman Angell Biography, English Nobel Peace Prize Winner


Who is sir Norman Angell? Information on Norman Angell biography, life story, works and facts.

Sir Norman Angell; (1872-1967), British economist and crusader for world peace, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1933. He was born Ralph Norman Angell Lane at Holbeach, Lincolnshire, England, on Dec. 26, 1872. As a young man he was a cowboy and prospector in the western United States and a reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sir Norman Angell Biography - English Nobel Peace Prize Winner

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Reflecting on the antagonism toward Britain that he found among some Americans, he was struck by the influence of prejudice and nationalism on public opinion. Such ill-informed attitudes, he felt, were a disruptive force in international affairs, especially the mistaken idea of what might be gained by war.

He developed this thought in his book The Great Illusion, which appeared in 1910. The illusion, he wrote, was the conviction that by victory in war a nation might destroy or absorb the economic strength of the enemy and expand its own. Actually, he maintained, national wealth in the modern world is so involved in credit and interdependent trade relations that military conquest can only destroy its fabric. In the failure to understand this lay some of the roots of wars.

Angell’s thesis was challenged, but he was recognized as a stimulating thinker. The Great Illusion was translated into many languages and passed through many editions, and he wrote other books on problems of peace and war. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize was a tribute to the vitality of his thought.


Angell was manager of the Paris edition of the London Daily Mail from 1905 to 1914 and editor of Foreign Affairs from 1928 to 1931. He was a Labour member of the House of Commons from 1929 to 1931, the year he was knighted. His autobiography, After All, was published in 1951. He died at Croydon on Oct. 7, 1967.

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