G.C. Waldrep


Suzanne Kesler Rumsey’s Blessed Are the Peacemakers is, on the surface, the reconstructed story of the author’s paternal grandparents during World War II. The saga of Benjamin and Miriam Kesler, members of the Dunkard Brethren Church in northern Indiana, in and out of the Civilian Public Service (CPS), is one that will be familiar to most readers of twentieth-century North American Anabaptist history: a young husband called into CPS service as a conscientious objector, the young wife he left behind. What makes it richer is the trove of letters back and forth between the young couple that the author has inherited, as well as the fact that Miriam eventually joined her husband in Rhode Island for the final stage of his service. The letters provide an intimate window into life for nonresistant Christians during World War II. [First paragraph.]