Discussions on modern warfare, private war and the duel, and cruelty. In 1906, Hirst's The Arbiter in Council was published anonymously, financed by J. P. Thomasson, a Cobdenite from Bolton. Written as a series of imaginary conversations between a former associate of Cobden and others, Hirst sought to analyze the follies of war principally on economic grounds. Francis W. Hirst (1873-1953) was a British economist and author of The Political Economy of War. In 1907 Hirst was appointed editor of The Economist.