Tolkien and the Horrors of the Killer Machines

Profound insights from Joseph Pearce

The Imaginative Conservative: In “Litany of the Lost,” a poem published at the end of World War II, Siegfried Sassoon lamented the “slavedom of mankind to the machine” and the “terror of atomic doom foreseen.” Writing in the wake of the annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as the world lurched drunkenly from World War to Cold War, “leaderless and sceptic-souled” and “chained to the wheel of progress uncontrolled,” Sassoon prayed for humanity’s deliverance from itself. We were “armed with our marvellous monkey innovations,” the poet declaimed plaintively, but were “unregenerate still in head and heart.” Read full article here.