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No Future Without Forgiveness Paperback – October 17, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Image (October 17, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385496907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385496902
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Archbishop Desmond Tutu stands alongside Nelson Mandela as one of the most iconic figures of the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. As archbishop of Cape Town throughout the 1980s, Tutu came to symbolize dignified, rational opposition to the iniquities of the apartheid regime, a faithful irreverence for unjust authority that led to his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. In 1995 he took up his greatest challenge, as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the remarkable yet harrowing attempt by South Africans to come to terms with the gross violations of human rights committed throughout the apartheid era by offering amnesty and forgiveness rather than punishment and dismissal.

No Future Without Forgiveness is Tutu's remarkable personal memoir of his time as chair of the commission. It records his insistence of the need to discover a "third way" in the healing of the national psyche and his powerful belief that "we can indeed transcend the conflicts of the past, we can hold hands as we realize our common humanity." Tutu's characteristic humor, resilience, and compassion are evoked in a way that demonstrates how essential they have been to his unique political style--and his ability to get results where all others failed. He recalls the darkest days of apartheid's "vicious awfulness" when, preaching about God's authority, he was "frequently tempted to whisper in God's ear, 'For goodness sake, why don't You make it more obvious that You are in charge?"'

No Future Without Forgiveness could be profitably read alongside Antjie Krog's equally compelling Country of My Skull, as it considers the emotional toll that such a process of national soul-searching has had upon its participants. As Tutu himself points out, "It is a costly business to try to heal a wounded and traumatized people, and those engaging in that crucial task will perhaps bear the brunt themselves ... we were, in Henri Nouwen's celebrated phrase, 'wounded healers.'" --Rachel Holmes, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

This insightful book about South Africa's healing process is no simple feel-good tale. In 1995, Tutu was looking forward to a well-earned retirement from his role as Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. He had given his life to the antiapartheid struggle and had spoken the truth to those in power so many times that, in 1984, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Still, in 1996, President Mandela and others prevailed upon him to postpone retirement's pleasures to give South Africa one more thing: his leadership as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Tutu speaks frankly of this call, of the struggle that preceded it and of the betrayals and jubilations of this unique commission. The TRC's work was unprecedented not only in its emphasis on restorative over retributive justice but in the spirituality that permeated its work, the bulk of which constituted hearings from the "victims" and "perpetrators" of apartheid. Ubuntu, Tutu explains, is the African expression that was at the heart of the TRC's labors. Meaning something like "a person is a person through other people," ubuntu sums up Tutu's philosophical framework for addressing apartheid's hard truths and beginning the reconciliation process necessary to move beyond apartheid's legacy. Despite the occasional factual inconsistency and some clich?s (the book seems hastily written), Tutu's wisdom and experience come through. Human rights, he affirms, cannot stand without ubuntu's deeper foundation; the future cannot be without forgiveness.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Desmond Mpilo Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and was only the second black person ever to receive it. In 1986 he was elected archbishop of Cape Town, the highest position in the Anglican Church in South Africa. In 1994, after the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela, Tutu was appointed as chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate apartheid-era crimes. His policy of forgiveness and reconciliation has become an international example of conflict resolution, and a trusted method of postconflict reconstruction. He is currently the chair of The Elders, where he gives vocal defense of human rights and campaigns for the oppressed.

Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to everyone who cares.
Erin J.
And, it's a story about how all of us, as God's children, can turn away from our innate goodness or honor it--even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Jeffrey N. Mccollum
This is the story of that time and the healing work of the Commission in Archbishop TuTu's words.
J. McLean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By JJ Crwys-Williams (peony@iafrica.com) on October 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I interviewed Desmond Tutu in Atlanta just before the release of the book, which he wrote at the rate of one chapter a week; towards the end of the interview I asked him if he thought his prostate cancer had been either caused by or accelerated by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. So much horror, surely, needs an outlet? "Oh, yes," he said, as the warm rain cascaded down outside the studio, "it's had its effect all right. But I am still full of wonder. And I am so grateful that I have lived through it all." By this he means living through apartheid, preventing a necklacing-in-progress, welcoming Nelson Mandela on his first day out of 27 years' of incarceration, being one of the clerics to swear in South Africa's first democratically elected President - and marrying the 80 year-old man on his birthday. Tutu is a humble man, although he calls himself vain; the book displays little vanity. What it displays is a shining, unequivocal message for the next century: we need to search for a new worldwide morality, a new sense of ethics. If we don't, be sure that somewhere, another South Africa will emerge. He spares few people in this sometimes horrifying book: white South Africans who have not responded with generosity to the changes in the country, Nobel Peace Prize winner FW de Klerk, who instigated the change in South Africa; the generals of the past, the mean and the miserly. He sheds light on the behind the scenes tensions of the TRC, surely a microcosm of the new South Africa as it seeks to integrate. He reveals that he nearly resigned at one point; he explains his rage when the final report of the TRC was placed in jeopardy within hours of its release; how he fought to subdue his tears as horror story followed upon horror story.Read more ›
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88 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA on September 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
As I read this, I thought: this must be unusual for fellow Americans to read. We have tended to be a people obsessed with forms of revenge, retribution, surveillance, and punishment we euphemize as "justice" and, since the Bush administration took over, "state security." Ironically, those who pass for followers of the man who said to "love your enemies" have been among the most determined supporters of eye-for-an-eye, letter-of-the-law, and, most recently, preemptive strike.
In this book the former Archbishop of Capetown has given us not only an eye-opening account of the brutalities and intricacies of post-Apartheid justice, but a model for moving beyond the various forms of institutionalized retribution. Pointing out the unworkability of trying and sentencing perpetrators of apartheid, he describes the joys and difficulties of the "truth and reconciliation" approach to justice: the granting of political amnesty to those who make a full confession of their crimes. An additional beauty of the process is its openness to the stories of those who were victimized, many of whom have been willing to pass up the opportunity for legal revenge in order to speak about their sufferings to those who were responsible for them.
Although this amnesty--as opposed to what Tutu calls "amnesia," the denial approach to the past--has not been a perfect solution to the fallout of apartheid, it has offered the world a model of reconciliation at the level of the trans-punishment consciousness of a Gandhi, a Jesus, a Martin Luther King Jr. For that reason alone it bears study by readers who are ready for alternatives to the cycles of retribution that inundate the world even now with ever-widening circles of "moral" warfare and all the rest of the self-justifying brutality that only creates new injustices.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Rose VINE VOICE on April 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Desmond Tutu brings us all a poignant and beautiful portrayal of how love for your neighbor, and forgiveness of injustices must prevail over getting back and fighting, because "there is no future without forgiveness."

His journey was not an easy one, however, with a solid spiritual base, and an extemporary model of sustained dedication to the indwelling truth in his heart, he was able to lead a nation out of apartheid, and into peace and equality.

His humanness and depth make this book one to refer back to, and his model of spiritual equality for all people one to follow for us all.
Deserves 10 Stars!
Barbara Rose, author of "Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE" and 'If God Was Like Man'
Editor of inspire! magazine
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Sophia VINE VOICE on June 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After the fall of apartheid in South Africa, a remarkable shift occurred. Rather than forming war crimes tribunals, rather than whitewashing or ignoring the past, the democratically-elected government, led by President Nelson Mandela, formed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In exchange for amnesty, those guilty of war crimes were required to appear before the commission and make a complete and full disclosure of any and all atrocities committed, receiving in turn a full pardon.
This is extremely difficult and painful reading. The atrocities are grisly, and I only had to read about them, not listen to them, nor experience them. In clear, unvarnished prose, Archbishop Tutu covers the difficulties in forming and leading such a commission, the differences and problems the commission members themselves had, and the response to it on the part of South African citizens. Yet, with all of the limitations Archbishop Tutu outlines, this was a remarkable, hopeful, amazing process, unlike any in human history. The book concludes with a fascinating, intriguing discussion on the nature of forgiveness. A wonderful, painful and inspiring book: one that shares the best and worst of the human condition, written by a great moral leader of our time. This book should be required reading for every human being alive.
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