Friday, January 9, 2009

Nonviolence or Sweet Caroline

Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea

Author: Mark Kurlansky

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.

Publishers Weekly

Kurlansky applies the microhistorical approach of his bestellers (Cod; Salt) to the loftier subject of nonviolence-which, he observes, is so "profoundly dangerous" to the powers that be that it has never existed as an idea in and of itself, only as the absence of violence. "Active practitioners of nonviolence are always seen as a threat," he says, and the conflict between authority and nonviolent resistance becomes a "moral argument" that, all too often, the nonviolent lose by abandoning their ideal in the name of self-defense. But as he studies the history of nonviolence from the dawn of Christianity to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Kurlansky can also point to prominent victories, like Gandhi's quest for Indian independence and the Eastern European resistance to the Soviets. There are plenty of missed opportunities, too; the American Revolution, he suggests, need not have escalated into war; "protest and economic sabotage" might have forced Britain to withdraw from the colonies. Sometimes, Kurlansky's impassioned rhetoric turns argumentative, and his "lessons"-e.g., "behind every war there are always a few founding lies"-offer scant practical guidance to those wanting to take up the nonviolent mantle themselves. (Sept. 5) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Look this: Das Werden ein Helfer

Sweet Caroline: Last Child of Camelot

Author: Christopher P Andersen

She is the heiress to a legacy of power, wealth, unfulfilled promise, and unspeakable tragedy. Her father was gunned down before a stunned world forty years ago, forever changing the course of history. Her mother became the most celebrated American woman of the twentieth century -- an icon of style, glamour, and personal courage. Her brother was the most promising Kennedy of his generation -- a global heartthrob who was killed when his plane crashed within sight of his mother's estate on Martha's Vineyard. Through it all, the sole surviving member of Camelot's First Family, Caroline Kennedy, has remained largely a mystery. Until now. In the manner of his #1 New York Times bestsellers The Day Diana Died and The Day John Died, as well as his other bestselling books on the Kennedys, Jack and Jackie and Jackie After Jack, Christopher Andersen draws on important sources -- many speaking here for the first time -- to provide a full, compelling portrait of Caroline, the young wife and mother left to carry on in her legendary family's name. Among the revelations:

  • New details about life inside the Kennedy White House -- and the events surrounding JFK's assassination -- from Caroline's unique perspective.
  • A spellbinding account of the surreal years she spent as the stepdaughter of Aristotle Onassis.
  • Caroline's own battles with a variety of harrowing personal problems, both physical and emotional.
  • The times she, too, cheated death; the stalkers who have caused her to fear for her life.
  • Her often frustrating attempts to carve out an identity for herself in the shadow of her famous mother.
  • Her loves, and the enigmaticcharacter she chose to marry.
  • The way she coped with the heartbreaking losses of her father, mother, and brother -- as well as the countless catastrophes that have plagued the Kennedy family over the last half-century and the demons that haunt her to this day.
  • How she is raising her children, and what lessons she is teaching them about love -- and loss.

Sweet Caroline: Last Child of Camelot is an often moving, always captivating look at the life of one little girl who was handed more than her share of heartache -- and has not only survived but flourished. It is the story of America's daughter.

Library Journal

All we know is that Andersen's next subject is an American who is always in the news. With a one-day laydown on October 21. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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