Twenty-five Lessons From the History of A Dangerous Idea

Book - 2006
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In this timely, highly original, and controversial narrative, New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky discusses nonviolence as a distinct entity, a course of action, rather than a mere state of mind. Nonviolence can and should be a technique for overcoming social injustice and ending wars, he asserts, which is why it is the preferred method of those who speak truth to power.

Nonviolence is a sweeping yet concise history that moves from ancient Hindu times to present-day conflicts raging in the Middle East and elsewhere. Kurlansky also brings into focus just why nonviolence is a "dangerous" idea, and asks such provocative questions as: Is there such a thing as a "just war"? Could nonviolence have worked against even the most evil regimes in history?

Kurlansky draws from history twenty-five provocative lessons on the subject that we can use to effect change today. He shows how, time and again, violence is used to suppress nonviolence and its practitioners--Gandhi and Martin Luther King, for examp≤ that the stated deterrence value of standing national armies and huge weapons arsenals is, at best, negligib≤ and, encouragingly, that much of the hard work necessary to begin a movement to end war is already complete. It simply needs to be embraced and accelerated.

Engaging, scholarly, and brilliantly reasoned, Nonviolence is a work that compels readers to look at history in an entirely new way. This is not just a manifesto for our times but a trailblazing book whose time has come.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, c2006.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780679643357
Branch Call Number: 303.61 KURLANSK
Characteristics: xiv, 203 pages ; 22 cm.


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Aug 28, 2011

This slim book provides a good introduction to the concept of power through non-violence. The chronicle starts ponderously with the ancient religious roots of non-violence; and progresses to contemporary examples in Czechoslovakia, the Philippines, and Poland. A useful bibliography offers sources for more depth on the techniques of non-violent civil disobedience. Curiously, the extensive writings of Gene Sharp are overlooked. Refusing to pay taxes for war receives only passing reference.


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