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Contesting Patriotism: Culture, Power, and Strategy in the Peace Movement Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0742564480 ISBN-10: 0742564487

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742564487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742564480
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,993,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It is a 234-page serving of some much needed analysis of the modern American peace movement, more specifically, how it has managed to play an important role in balancing the popular discourse about war and patriotism. . . . It is a work of great significance in an area of research that, as the authors themselves point out, has been neglected for far too long. (Contemporary Sociology, December 2009)

How to persuade Americans, who are legitimately worried about terrorist attacks, that our current policies provoke more terrorism and are not in the national interest? The authors here make a valuable contribution to the study of how peace and justice movements grapple with these important questions. In the process, they also show it is time for the universities to devote more resources to conflict resolution studies. (Tom Hayden)

Peace movement organizations operate in a diverse social and political climate, one distorted by rhetoric of fear and lies. That's why the peace movement has hungered of late for an informed, analytic framework to assess where we are and where we go next. Woehrle, Coy and Maney provide rich, deep, but fully accessible research that will sharpen our focus, increase our effectiveness, and provoke our community to "smart growth" through self-reflection. This is a very timely gift. It will give us direction with its GPS-like utility, and it offers encouragement in its C. Wright Mills-like sensibility for social change as a legitimate expression of patriotism. (Mark C. Johnson, executive director, Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA)

In an era when U.S. nationalism and unilateralism are arguably the biggest threats to world peace and security, Woehrle, Coy, and Maney offer an important analysis of how culture can be used as a strategic tool for those seeking to promote a more peaceful and just world. (Jackie Smith, University of Pittsburgh)

We wring our hands about the culture of violence that pervades our nation, and some of us expend enormous energy trying to change our country's rhetoric from one of war to one of peace. We act locally and from within esteemed national peace groups such asthe Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, War Resisters League, and the American Friends Service Committee. But the wars-and the worries-persist. What should we do? And how? Contesting Patriotism gives us a language to talk about our dilemmas. In it, Lynne Woehrle, Pat Coy, and Greg Maney describe the rhetoric used by peace organizations and then give us real solutions as we look to the future. Contesting Patriotism is an academic book, complete with an 11-page bibliography, but it's written by professors who are themselves activists and is eminently readable. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to move from wailing about strategy to truly working for peace.. (Sojourners, July 2009)

Those who advocate for peace have too often had their patriotism questioned. This carefully reasoned and richly researched book provides a set of tools to help reshape the discourse about who speaks for America in matters of war and peace. This timely book is vitally important for all who seek new ways to turn this country away from the catastrophic policies that, in the name of patriotism, have deeply harmed Americans' interests at home and abroad. (Andrew L. Barlow, U.C. Berkeley and Diablo Valley College, author of Between Fear and Hope: Globalization and Race in the United States)

We wring our hands about the culture of violence that pervades our nation, and some of us expend enormous energy trying to change our country's rhetoric from one of war to one of peace. We act locally and from within esteemed national peace groups such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, War Resisters League, and the American Friends Service Committee. But the wars-and the worries-persist. What should we do? And how?Contesting Patriotism gives us a language to talk about our dilemmas. In it, Lynne Woehrle, Pat Coy, and Greg Maney describe the rhetoric used by peace organizations and then give us real solutions as we look to the future.Contesting Patriotism is an academic book, complete with an 11-page bibliography, but it's written by professors who are themselves activists and is eminently readable. It's a "must-read" for anyone who wants to move from wailing about strategy to truly working for peace. (Sojourners, July 2009)

Woehrle, Coy, and Maney combine both their academic interests and their personal experience in developing a very clear assessment of the ways in which major groups in the peace movement have advanced this cause in their publications over the past 20 years.... Woehrle, Coy, and Maney provide rich, deep, but fully accessible research that will sharpen our focus, increase our effectiveness, and provoke our community to great coherence through self-reflection and cross-movement dialogue. (Fellowship, Spring 2010)

Contesting Patriotismis a bombproof, peer-reviewed academic study on the ways the peace movement has responded to war and threats of war in its messaging. It gives examples of the strongest antiwar/pro-peace arguments from different approaches, explains reasoning for framing arguments, and categorizes arguments according to their characteristics....The authors combed through a great deal of peace group arguments and isolated the strongest persuasive writing, contextualized it, and compared contexts. (Win Magazine, Summer 2010, Volume 27)

This excellent analysis considers all these in relation to North American peace movement organizations…. The study is well-structured and progresses logically…. It is an ideal book for postgraduate students….This book also opens up a new avenue of research for academics researching Latin American or African social movements…. This book is of significant importance….A piece of work that sets that standard for future research very high. A highly recommended book. (Interface, May 2010)

Contesting Patriotism provides an intellectually complex, nuanced analysis of the conflicting uses of patriotism by war and peace forces in the modern world. Scholars, peace activists, government officials, and member of the general public can learn much from it. (History News Network, May 2009)

Contesting Patriotism offers a comprehensive, detailed, and nuanced reading….While this book offers an intelligent content analysis, it also raises new research questions. (Mobilization)

Coy, Maney, and Woehrle detail ways in which PMOs create "oppositional knowledge" by introducing new information into public debates, critiquing official lines of argument, envisioning new social and political arrangements, and calling people to action…. Contesting Patriotism is notable for its research design that captures both the agency of social movement organizations and the political and cultural contexts that constrain and enable them in shaping political discourse…. The authors' systematic discourse analysis is impressive and compelling. The book is well referenced….I highly recommend Contesting Patriotism for its clarity because it offers anew level of focus on activist' cultural agency, and because it synthesizes many emerging interests in the cultural study of social movements. (Lee A. Smithey Criticalmass, Fall 2010)

Woehrle, Coy, and Maney have performed a notable public service with Contesting Patriotism. Readers get solid evidence for the authors’ claims that historical context, organizational identity, and perceived audience matter as PMOs produce oppositional knowledge and fight hegemony. We are reminded that PMO discourse work is strategic, varying with political climate and political space. The authors show us that peace protest is among the highest forms of patriotism. (Policy Sciences)

Woehrle, Coy, and Maney have performed a notable public service with Contesting Patriotism. Readers get solid evidence for the authors’ claims that historical context, organizational identity, and perceived audience matter as PMOs produce oppositional knowledge and fight hegemony. We are reminded that PMO discourse work is strategic, varying with political climate and political space...The authors show us that peace protest is among the highest forms of patriotism.
(Policy Sciences)

About the Author

Lynne M. Woehrle is associate professor of sociology at Mount Mary College.

Patrick G. Coy is director and associate professor at the Center for Applied Conflict Management at Kent State University.

Gregory M. Maney is associate professor of sociology at Hofstra University.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Careful reader on August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
How do peace groups promote peace, especially in an adverse environment?

When the United States embarks on a war, an intense patriotic ferver typically spreads across the country. Most powerholders and opinion leaders -- political leaders, military officials, news commentators, and corporate executives -- exhort everyone to accept and embrace a pro-war perspective.

How do critics of war* challenge the overwhelming calls for patriotism and tremendous pressure to conform? What discourse do they use to influence the public and reframe the discussion so that more people understand why war is not the answer?

These are the questions explored in this very accessible book by three professors of sociology and political science. To find the answers, they studied fifteen peace movement organizations (PMOs) which had grappled with five recent US conflicts -- the Gulf War, the bombing of Iraq in 1998, the 1999 NATO bombing of Kosova/o, the crusade to eliminate terrorism following the 9/11 attacks, and the Iraq war. In particular, they studied the narratives that peace activists used to challenge these five wars by carefully coding 510 formal statements from these fifteen PMOs and then rigorously and thoroughly analyzing the data from a variety of angles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence S. Wittner on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford Nuclear Age Series)

In "Contesting Patriotism," three social scientists come to grips with both the difficulties peace organizations have faced in challenging the U.S. government's military policies and with the growing sophistication these organizations have displayed in recent years. The result is an excellent work of scholarship with findings that should be of interest to peace organizations, politicians, and members of the general public.
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