Sheila Pratt writes:
If it’s true that history is written by the victors, this history book, Mark Kurlansky’s “Nonviolence: the history of a dangerous idea”, focuses neither on the victors nor the vanquished but mostly on those who did not want to participate at all. The book looks at non-violence movements in the western world beginning from several thousand years ago up until the early 2000s. Kurlansky looks at many religious groups that started out with non-violence as a foundation in their belief system, and shows how and why they ‘adjust’ their beliefs to accommodate violence.
The most interesting section for me answered a question I asked my parents in the early 1950s (we lived in California). I heard them talking about the wisdom of owning a Ford, and I asked why it mattered. They told me it didn’t and that was the end of it, except I never forgot my unanswered question. The answer appeared in this book. And the “just war” was no longer quite as “just” as we’d been taught.
Since the book ends in the early 2000s, he doesn’t discuss more recent events. Perhaps the role of drone warfare may not leave so many soldiers with PTSD and the possibility of planetary destruction by nuclear weapons may be increased. But there are some common threads throughout the book that make reading it worthwhile – perhaps mandatory for anyone interested in going to war.
********************Send your book recommendations to janslakov (at) proton.me & hopefully we can share them!