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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A message in morality for the next century.
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,...
Published on October 17, 1999 by JJ Crwys-Williams (peony@iafri...

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20 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Topic, but Something is missing
I enjoyed the amazing scope of Desmond Tutu's thought process and his ability to commit it to paper; but sometimes I found exploring one thought from so many angles a little unnecessary. I also had trouble with the absence of enough Aparthied history to ensure complete comprehension by all readers of all ages. I longed for more explanation to help me get through this...
Published on December 27, 2000 by Karen Lefto


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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A message in morality for the next century., October 17, 1999
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. Of these, there are mercifully few in this book, although the voice of the victims shines through on page after page. They want so little, he explains, perhaps just a son's bones so they can be buried with honour. The book is one of massive integrity and a moral message for the future which is upon us.
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88 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a way out of the madness of retribution, September 13, 2003
This review is from: No Future Without Forgiveness (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Role Model to Follow, April 13, 2004
By 
Barbara Rose (BornToInspire.com) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Future Without Forgiveness (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible - every human being should read this book, June 1, 2000
By 
Sophia (the Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
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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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healing for the Nations, April 3, 2006
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This review is from: No Future Without Forgiveness (Paperback)
This book is not only about the evils of apartheid, but also about how a nation was able to move toward healing and forgiveness through the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Desmond Tutu was appointed to head up this commission that would offer amnesty to all of those who had been involved in political acts of torture and violence during the period of apartheid in South Africa, but only if those that perpetrated the violence came forward, applied for amnesty, and told the truth about what they had done. The victims of the crimes were also allowed to come and tell their stories and ask their questions. Within these stories are remarkable tales of how people who had been tormented or had their loved ones tormented or even killed were able to reach out and find healing themselves by forgiving those who had done this to them.
Archbishop Tutu tells his story and the story of his nation and how that South African has been and is being healed through the power of truth and forgiveness. He speaks about many of the trials and tribulations that the commission went through, such as Winnie Mandela's part in the atrocities that she allegedly had a part in. The details of some of the torture stories are hard to take, but necessary to tell and to hear so that we know that evil exists in appalling ways in the world, but that evil can be overcome through forgiveness.
The trees that were sacrificed to make this book were well worth the sacrifice, because within its pages are the leaves for the healing of the nations. When Jesus hung on the cross, evil having done its best to him, he cried "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." He could have called twelve legions of angels and destroyed the whole lot of them, but he answers evil of the worst kind with forgiveness and reconciliation. This message and the message of the book is what is needed in all of places today were we are causing one another pain and suffering and can see no way around or out of the dilemma. I believe that this kind of move is what is necessary to heal the Middle East conflict and all of the other feuds and racist hatred that has gone on in the world. The only way forward to any type of life giving future is through forgiveness. I recommend this book to everyone who cares.

Questions or comments contact me at darrengjohnson38@yahoo.com
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walking the Road of Reconciliation, May 23, 2000
By 
No Future Without Forgiveness chronicles the path that South Africa walked after the election of Nelson Mandela and the end of the systematic apartheid. It was a time when so many people did not even know what had become of their loved ones, and they struggled with how to deal with their grief. They struggled with forgiveness, and they struggled with the connection between confession and truth and forgiveness and reconciliation. Yet in their terrible grief, they did not set up a war tribunal to prosecute, judge and punish those who committed these acts. Instead, they recognized a higher authority. They built a model based on the Christian principles of truth, confession and reconciliation. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The government formed a Truth and Reconciliation Committee and said to those who committed these horrible acts, "Come and tell us the truth, and we will grant you amnesty and we will be reconciled so that we can heal."..."You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Quite remarkable, right? This is an entire country carrying out the Christian model in the midst of horrendous grief.
In his book, Desmond Tutu talks about this walk with the commission that he led. It's a remarkable story about a remarkable Christian witness. In my opinion, it's one of the most important books of the past century and one that everyone should read
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful message we can all learn from., October 12, 1999
By A Customer
Archbishop Tutu is an incredible world leader--one who is likely to be even better known 100 years from now than he is today. This is because in his work on the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in South Africa he, and the people of South Africa, have accomplished somthing truly remarkable. They decided that the only way to move forward from the horrors of apartheid was to do so with awareness and forgiveness. What an amazing account we now have here in Tutu's book on this experience. He helped lead South Africa to freedom, and now he has helped pave the way for a future of healing and peace. While we see humanity's ugly potential for cruelty in the testimony of survivors, this book is most especially a great testament to the power of human will and ideals to change the world. I wish Archbishop Tutu could win another Nobel prize for his work.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, October 18, 1999
By A Customer
I always thought Archbishop Tutu was an amazing man, and this book has confirmed that for me yet again! This is an incredible, discturbing, and ultimately uplifting testament to the power of faith and forgiveness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgive others as I have forgiven you, April 17, 2009
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This review is from: No Future Without Forgiveness (Paperback)
South Africa is such an incredible country, a beautiful country and beautiful peoples meant to be a blessing to all of its people, to the continent of Africa and to the world. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has written a remarkable story of the impact of apartheid upon its people. Nelson Mandela wrote on the back cover, "The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of South AFrica has put the spotlight on all of us...In its hearings Desmond Tutu has conveyed our common pain and sorrow, our hope and confidence in the future."

This is also the story of the most incredible free elections that the world has witnessed and how South Africa avoided a much anticipated bloodshed. With so many other countries that have looked evil in the face in their history and have had much different results than South Africa. Why is that? This book gives the reader the reasons why this process succeeded.

Archbishop Tutu was surprised as a pastor and a man of faith to be asked to chair this committee with so many lawyers, parliamentarians, judges, health care workers and people of other faiths who could have capably led this commission. He also was about to retire and looking forward to it. One can easily see on page 49-50 why lawyers and people who understand government were needed when the law was passed establishing the TRC that the following conditions were allowed for amnesty:

1. The act for which amnesty was required should have happened between 1960, the year of the Sharpeville massacre, and 1994, when President Mandela was inaugurated as the first democratically elected South African head of state.

2. The act must have been politically motivated. Perpetrators did not qualify for amnesty if they killed for personal greed, but they did qualify if they committed the act in response to an order by, or on behalf of, a political organization, such as the former apartheid state and its satellite Bantustan homelands, or a recognized liberation movement such as the ANC or PAC.

3. The applicant had to make a full disclosure of all the relevant facts relating to the offense for which amnesty was being sought.

4. The rubric of proportionality had to be observed-- that the means were proportional to the objective.

If those conditions were met, said the law, then amnesty "shall be granted."

The Commission dealt with issues of remorse, impunity and justice amongst a very diverse group of people as well as compensation and related issues. President Mandela must have seen something different in appointing a pastor and Archbishop as the Chair that this was indeed going to be a spiritual process rather than merely political. Dealing with issues such as forgiveness, reconciliation and reparation were not normal discussion and decision making in the halls of government.

Faith informed the Commissions discussions and particularly the Christian faith. I was deeply impressed with Desmond Tutu, how practical he is, how articulate he is and how his faith informs all that he does. An example on page 82/83- " It was a relief as the Commission to discover that we were all really children of Adam and Eve. When God accosted Adam and remonstrated with him about contravening the order God had given about not eating a certain fruit, Adam had been less than forthcoming in accepting responsibility for that disobedience. No, he shifted the blame to Eve, and when God turned to Eve, she too had taken a leaf from her husband;s book (not the leaf with which she tried to ineffectually to hide her nakedness) and tried to pass the buck. We are not sure how the serpent responded to the blame being pushed on it. So we should have thus not not have been surprised at how reluctant most people were to acknowledge their responsibility for atrocities done under apartheid. They were just being the descendants of their forebears and behaving true to form in being in the denial mode or blaming everyone and everything except themselves."

"So frequently we in the commission were quite appalled at the depth of depravity to which human beings could sink and we would, most of us, say that those who committed such dastardly deeds were monsters because the deeds were monstrous. But theology prevents us from doing this. Theology reminded me that, however diabolical the act, it did not turn the perpetrator into a demon. We had to distinguish between the deed and the perpetrator, between the sinner and the sin, to hate and condemn the sin while being filled with compassion for the sinner... theology said they still, despite the awfulness of their deeds, remained children of God with the capacity to repent, to be able to change."

This is really a book about forgiveness and reconciliation for awful things done to fellow human beings. It is a book about the scandal of love and grace given to people in the example of Jesus. It is a story of people just being able and encouraged to tell their awful stories of evil done to them, their loved ones and their neighbors. It is a story of how within each of us is the capacity for this same kind of evil. It is also the story of people who have suffered so much, instead of lusting for revenge, they had this extraordinary willingness to forgive. I was deeply moved by this book and I think you will be as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting feet to Jesus' commandment to love and bless one's enemies, June 25, 2013
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This review is from: No Future Without Forgiveness (Paperback)
Born in South African on October 7, 1931, Desmond Tutu grew up during a time of great pain and chaos. Despite growing up in a country that actively discriminated against him due to the color of his skin, Tutu was able join the Anglican clergy and graduate from college. Eventually he was elected as Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, where he was able to help guide the country through the transition into democracy. Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 along with many other awards over the years for his defense of human rights.

In 1995, a year after the apartheid had ended, Desmond Tutu was appointed as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) by President Nelson Mandela. This commission had the mandate to "provide as complete a picture as possible of the gross human rights violations that happened" (page 91) between 1960 and 1994. As one could image this was a daunting task for a variety of reason, not the least of that the commission only had two years to complete the task. Tutu's book "No Future Without Forgiveness", published in 1999, is a look back over the years of the commission, attempting to explain some of their actions as well as to promote the power of forgiveness in breaking the cycle of violence.

To this end, Tutu starts off the book with a few chapters exploring the cultural background of South Africa during the apartheid years. Special attention was given to the emotions and worldview of the black, colored and Indian members of South Africa sociality as their voices have normally been squelched. After lying the ground work, Tutu goes on to explains why and how South Africa decided upon launching the TRC in the first place. For example, why did the newly elected black African government choose to offer amnesty instead of pursuing criminal charges like in Nuremberg (War World II's war criminal court)?

Following this discourse on why the TRC method was chosen, Tutu embarks on one of the best sections of the entire book. Namely, he answers the question of justice in light of the amnesty being offered: "Are the miscreants not going virtually scot-fee, since all they must do is give a full amount of all the materials facts relating to the offense?" (page 50). Drawing on both his heritage as an African and his theological training as a clergy member, Tutu weaves an agreement showing how true justice is more than just punishing someone for the wrong they committed. It is about "ubuntu", the "healing of breaches, the redress of imbalances, the restoration of broken relationships, a seeking to rehabilitate both the victims and the perpetrator, who should be given the opportunity to be reintegrated into the community he has injured by his offense" (page 55).

After explaining the why's and how's of the TRC, Tutu spends most of the book telling the stories of the commission. Stories about some of the most horrible human rights crimes in world; crimes committed across a nation with the simple goal of making one racial group more powerful and rich than all the others. In an interesting twist, these shocking stories serve as a turning point in the book as they are coupled with some of the most powerful stories of forgiveness known to history. Fathers who forgive the men who tortured murdered their children; families who forgave those who killed and burned their loved ones while holding party next to the burning corpse. The combined natures of these stories serve to both explain the situation more fully as well as to make the reader's personal grudges seem petty and dumb.

To that end, Tutu spends the last chapter elaborating on the concept of forgiveness and the freedom that comes from forgiveness. His hope is that people will grasp the power of forgiveness and apply it both to their private lives and in their society. As he states on page 279, "true forgiveness deals with the past, all of the past, to make the future possible...we have to accept that what we do we do for generation past, present, and yet to come. That is what makes a community a community or a people a people - for better or worse."

In conclusion, Desmond Tutu's book "No Future Without Forgiveness" is a great exploration into the concept of forgiveness while bring to light some of the why's and how's of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Tutu does a great job a highlighting both the successes and failures of the TRC while keeping the overall message consistent. It is definitely a book to be read throughout the world, especially within the church as it helps put feet to Jesus' commandment to love and bless one's enemies (Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27-28).
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No Future Without Forgiveness
No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu (Paperback - October 17, 2000)
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