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Nonviolence

The History of a Dangerous Idea

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Description

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 example; that the stated deterrence value of standing national armies and huge weapons arsenals is, at best, negligible; 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 04, 2006 – Oscar-winner Dreyfuss lends his voice to a timely subject matter. With his characteristic crystal-clear annunciation and emotionally charged delivery, Dreyfuss adds an element of energy to Kurlansky's exhaustive historical journey. Listeners of all partisan stripes should find themselves intrigued by some of the lesser-known examples of nonviolent activism that Kurlansky's research highlights, including campaigns that could have prevented both America's Revolutionary War and the Civil War. However, the tenor of Kurlansky's message often seems unnecessarily strident, fiercely attacking political, religious and media defenders of the just war theory. For instance, the Rev. Billy Graham receives the pejorative label of "right-wing evangelist," and Steven Spielberg's acclaimed 1998 film Saving Private Ryan draws scorn as "war propaganda." Sadly, Kurlansky seems more intent on doing battle with sacred cows than building bridges or advancing practical solutions.

Customer Reviews

Thought provoking and brilliant.

I have used this book in my classes to inspire debate over the author's premise. Students report that, even if they disagree, their idea of what is possible has changed after reading this book.

Nonviolence
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Sep 12, 2006
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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