Review (Guest): A Force More Powerful

5 Star, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall

5.0 out of 5 stars Why did revenge dominate the 9-11 discussion in the US? February 4, 2002

By Glen G

Why did revenge and vengeance dominate the 9-11 discussion by public officials and the media? Why do our public discourse and media images seem virtually bereft of the common sense that informs many other areas of life?

This outstanding book could help fill the void. It consists of a dozen very well-written and well-documented case studies of the power of nonviolence in dealing with injustice on a national or international scale. And I mean the power of nonviolence like King and Gandhi lived it, not the stereotype of nonviolence as passivity or cowardice.

Good parents know revenge doesn’t work with their children, good teachers know it doesn’t work in the classroom, good citizens know it doesn’t work in their community, and a growing proportion of the criminal justice world is embracing the vision of “restorative justice” as a much more functional grounding for most of their work.

Even though the majority of people in the US know that revenge doesn’t work, there is a lack of awareness of the power of nonviolence in the larger public arena, even though two thirds of the world’s population has experienced nonviolent social change that was successful beyond anyone’s wildest dreams in South Africa, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Gandhi in India, the US civil rights movement, to name just a few case studies covered in this remarkable book.

As someone who has taught and worked in community centers in the highest crime areas of NYC and Oakland and directed conflict and peace studies programs for 80 public schools, a university, and several community and national organizations, I can affirm that people are hungry for the hope that comes from stories of nonviolence in action.

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