Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea
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.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - lucasdwi - LibraryThing
Excellently written work on the history of nonviolence. Mark Kurlansky successfully captures the reader on a historical journey from the beginnings of religions and their relationship with violence to ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - nmele - LibraryThing
I didn't particularly enjoy Kurlansky's book on nonviolence--although his facts are accurate, they are often incomplete and his tone is snarky throughout. Someone whose introduction to nonviolence is this book is likely to reject the whole business. Read full review