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Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie Hardcover – March 17, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 2003, while attempting to block the demolition of a Palestinian family's home in the Gaza Strip, 23-year-old American Rachel Corrie was killed by an armored Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer operated by a member of the Israel Defense Forces. This collection of her journal entries opens a window on the maturation of a young woman seeking to make the world a better place through social activism. The essays, poetry and drawings reveal Corrie going through the routine pangs of growing up, the development of her social consciousness and her love of language. Two events broadened Corrie's perspective beyond her childhood home of Olympia, Wash. A 1995 student exchange trip to Russia and the repercussions of 9/11 were formative events accelerating her desire to help those she felt were harmed by U. S foreign policy. Following Corrie's death, the British newspaper the Guardian published her e-mail accounts of what she'd witnessed in Gaza. This collection of essays, while uneven, contains thought-provoking ideas. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

A 23-year-old activist from Olympia, Washington, travels to the Gaza Strip to join a nonviolent protest against the Israeli Army’s destruction of Palestinian houses. On March 16, 2003, she stands between the home of a Palestinian family and an advancing bulldozer. The driver does not stop, and Rachel Corrie is killed. Who was Rachel, and what brought her to Rafah? The answers are found, thanks to her supportive family, in this poignant and impressive gathering of Rachel’s drawings and writings. A smart and passionate girl of conscience who wanted to see the world and become a dancer, artist, and writer, Rachel evolved into a radiant and compassionate soul who wrote with candor, lyricism, and drive about all the usual preoccupations of youth as well as her revolutionary refusal to “exist in a bubble of creativity and poetry and raindrops” while others suffer injustice and horror. Rachel’s charming, prescient, and haunting chronicles trace the coming-into-her-own of an altruistic and courageous woman who loved life yet was willing to risk all for what she knew was right. --Donna Seaman
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780393065718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393065718
  • ASIN: 0393065715
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,562,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We have all read the final emails of Rachel Corrie, and mourned the death of one of the most compassionate and courageous young women ever to walk the face of this earth. We know about her concern for the oppressed peoples of this world, and her desire to stamp out hunger from the speech she made at the tender age of ten. However, this new book, 'Let Me Stand Alone', shows us the other side of Rachel - fun loving, vivacious, and a brilliant young writer and drawer. Her writing on her boyfriend's 'addiction to bee keeping' is remarkable, and the description of her big sister is very touching. Her love for her parents is beautifully expressed and her compassion for the less fortunate in the world is marvelous. She has more understanding about homelessness and our attitude to it than many adults in their 40s or 50s. It is astonishing that she wrote the piece about the homeless (page 15) at the tender age of 11.
Rachel's attitude towards the mentally ill is equally admirable. So often the treatment of the mentally ill is condescending and extremely arrogant. Clearly, they are inferior beings. Rachel's humility and caring towards her clients when she worked for the local mental health services is one in a million.
Her essays in creative writing are unique. Whoever else has ever thought of evoking childhood memories through the Tooth Fairy?
The subjects on which Rachel writes seem to be limitless, and many are extremely witty: entertaining articles about mowing the lawn, where buses go at night, how to deal with teenagers, and 'conservation' work in national parks.
Rachel's warmth and sensitivity shine out from every page, but above all, her irrepressible sense of humor.
Rachel's family has been extremely generous to share the writings of their daughter with the general public, especially since so much of it includes personal details. Take hold of this book, and treasure it, as the opportunity to read such a book only comes once in a lifetime.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rachel Corrie's narratives are written as though she would look back at the transcript in later years to remind herself of who she had been and exactly what she had thought and done. Tragically, she cannot look back since she is dead, victim of the struggle she chronicles with such passion.

I do not get an impression of Rachel as anti-semitic or anti-Jewish, or even anti-Israel. She has aligned herself with the Palestinians in Gaza who are being forcibly removed from their homes, which are being bulldozed. That same Israeli government has forcibly removed Jews from their unauthorized settlements. This was about standing up to an inhumane process. What a very high cost she paid for that opposition.
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Format: Hardcover
Journals offer private thoughts not intended for an audience; rather, they serve as a means of sorting out life's challenges and exposing one's inner demons. Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie leads the reader into Rachel's inner world as she negotiates the challenges of adolescence and early adulthood. Sadly, her life comes to an untimely end when she faced down a bulldozer that was about to destroy a Palestinian home in Gaza.

Early in her life, Rachel's literary abilities shine through her poetry as she expresses her delight in nature and small creatures that cross her path. At eleven, on the death of her grandfather, she remarks her own selfishness as she sleeps while others are grieving. She says, "I have already grown bored of being sad and I am ready to go back to being normal." How wise she is to identify that universal feeling.

Many of Rachel's musings reflect her attitude toward death. At fourteen, she says, "Death smells like homemade applesauce as it cooks on the stove." At eighteen, "If I die today,...you must burn the papers under my bed...to charred leaves of ash...You must silence my dead voice...so it will not embarrass my memory." Her journals definitely reflect her inner thoughts, conflicts, and behaviors that might be embarrassing, and I wonder whether she would have wanted them published.

A trip to Russia became a turning point for Rachel. A girl who lived a sheltered, privileged life, she returned from her journey a woman with a mission, awakened by "the initial disappointment in discovering that my government really did lie to me about the Russians, and in the massive absence of justice in the world, and again...in discovering my participation in the subjugation of other people.
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1 Comment 21 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Maya Angelou said, "One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

Very touching journal by a very courageous young girl

The negative reactions to the book, I'm afraid, prove importance of the issue Rachel gave her life for. Many Americans remained "passively" approving of the occupation despite not just its blatant imperialist aggressiveness but its sheer irrationality and absurdity.

The best way to see an issue objectively, with the efforts of finding a solution, is to put yourself in the position of both sides. This book will definitely help you see the Palestinian issue the way it is, and not the way the media wants you to see it.

No individuals, no interest groups, no lobbies have influenced the writing of this book. A pure message straight from the heart of a first line observer.

A MUST READ!
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