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My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl's Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize Hardcover – March 12, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520270258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520270251
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Williams’ work ably demonstrates how a single person can make a great difference.”
(Kirkus Reviews 2012-12-09)

"Williams' incredibly honest first-person account of family, love, trauma, horror, and the balance of tedium and reward while working for human security is a wonderful testament to the power of one for the benefit of many. Also a poet, her writing is simple, rich with critical information, and profound – seemingly representative of the author herself: down-to-earth and straight to business, but containing an incomparably contagious spark. She's funny, too. You simply cannot finish reading this book without feeling the stir to help, whatever your cause may be."
(The Austin Chronicle 2013-09-06)

From the Inside Flap

“Jody Williams is a grassroots activist at her heart, committed to empowering all individuals to believe in their ability and their right to contribute to a better world. A forceful leader in advancing the recognition of the key role of ‘citizen diplomacy’ in confronting and resolving our common challenges in today's fast changing world. Whether she's speaking or writing, she is clear, concise and eloquent when advancing her views of global activism.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“Jody Williams is an activist's activist—she speaks to and for ordinary people, inspiring and empowering them to speak for themselves. Her eloquence also reaches and moves those in the halls of power around the world. Her written word is as clear and convincing as the words she speaks. What she says and what she does have long been demonstrating that global change is not a utopian dream but feasible reality.”—Mia Farrow, actor and activist

“Jody Williams is a bold, informed, challenging and provocative voice. Her writing is shaped by a sharp political eye, heart, humor and irreverence. Her place in the dialogue around building peace and justice cannot be disputed. She is, quite simply, explosive."—Eve Ensler, author, actor, activist

“Jody Williams is a powerful woman. When she speaks, she carries the room. When she writes, she is equally as clear and captivating. What might be the best thing about her—whether she's speaking or writing—is that she shares her power. She is tireless in her work for a better world for us all. She engages through humor and humility and makes anyone who comes in contact with her believe that they too can change the world.”—Pat Mitchell, CEO, the Paley Center; former CEO, PBS

“To hear Jody Williams speak at a rally of thousands is to be electrified by the vision, wit and strength of a woman who can seem superhuman. To read Jody Williams on the page is to gain entry into the mind of the complicated, all-too-human-woman whose self-doubts and vulnerability make her one of us. Williams writes with a novelist's gift for careful observation, and a humorist's knack for scathing self-examination. Her bawdy, kick-boxing prose leaves no doubt that as a writer-activist, Williams has a voice of her own.”—Audrey Wells, screenwriter, director, activist


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Jody Williams gave a well written story of her life and her work!
Gerry Dankowski
This engrossing tale is a rare bird: a book that inspires that is also both fun to read and truly funny.
Doug in DC
It truly felt like she was in the room with me telling me her stories as I was reading it.
E. Bush

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Spates on March 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With humor and candor, Jody Williams tells the story of her life up until she and the ICBL were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. To me, her book was almost like a thriller - I could barely put it down! She has indeed led a fascinating life, helped and inspired so many, and epitomizes the change that one person can bring about. It's a great read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Boonie on February 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jody succeeds in telling her story in such a personal way allowing the reader to truly join in on her journey to activism and eventually the Nobel Peace Prize…

I found myself cheering her on even though I already knew how her story would end regarding the landmine campaign. She comes across as humble yet strong, and even quite humorous in the midst of the political side of her story. Extremely well done.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JLang on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There are some books everyone must absolutely have in a home library because it's what is inside that counts. My Name is Jody Williams, is certainly one of them. An American activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize, Williams shares an intimately candid story of a life grounded in the normalcy of growing up in an American small town to a simple family facing extraordinarily complex challenges.

Williams tells how these life experiences inspired her to become one of the world's greatest advocates for worthwhile causes, most notably through her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines to eliminate the world-wide manufacturing, stockpiling, and sales of landmines.

It tells the story of how a young girl learns to advocate at an early age and soon realizes that she can best serve the world and her almost primal instinct by loudly fighting for what is right and educating about what is oftentimes deadly wrong. The life of an activist helping foster a bridge between organizations, people and governments for a common good for the innocent certainly presents many ups and downs in this memoir. But Jody Williams' determined nature as a fighter and activist confirms, her life didn't simply culminate with the Nobel Peace Price, it just hit a high note, with many more to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Gras on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Two years ago, I was working on a television show about the increasing violence against women around the world for Houston PBS. For years, I had been trying to interview Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate who had led the international campaign to ban land mines. As a Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Houston, she conducts lectures here twice a year.
When I finally got a hold of her, she was surprised I had not reached her before. I thought she had avoided my requests because of her celebrity status. I was wrong. She was one of the most kind, authentic, and humble people I had ever met.
I have interviewed admirable people in my lifetime, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Dominique De Menil, Alice Walker, met Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and other lesser-known human rights activists, but Williams truly surprised me. Like all of them, she is dedicated and fearless, but when you are around her, you feel like she could be your next-door neighbor who you can trust with your children. She has no airs whatsoever. She is not afraid to speak her mind, nor does she mince her words. To me she is a modern day grassroots peaceful warrior. What you see is what you get.
When her book "My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girls Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize came out, I quickly got a copy and I was not disappointed. I got to meet Williams at a more personal level in January of 2012. I was invited to be part of her delegation of the
Nobel Women's Initiative (which she leads with all the women laureates) and Just Associates (JASS) on a fact-finding mission. The goal was to hear from women confronting violence in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Bush on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I so appreciated Jody's condor and honesty in her autobiography. It truly felt like she was in the room with me telling me her stories as I was reading it. Her honesty makes her life story that much more relatable because she doesn't pull any punches when it comes to how things happened to her and the people around her. I found her life story to be extremely compelling, and the conversational writing style led to a refreshing inability to put the book down. I'm very pregnant and am exhausted all the time, so it was really nice to have a book that was so engrossing that I forgot all about naps while reading it.

She is such an inspiration, and I love the overarching message that one person can (and in this case very much did) change the world for the better. I think that's something that is easily dismissed nowadays, but it's essential for us to remember.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By laptophobo on May 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Writing an autobiography must be the most difficult type of book. One has to really put themselves out there without sounding too arrogant or that they have been less than forthcoming. Jody does a good job with those. What I took away from her story was that not just the well bred or internationally recognized (celebrity) politicians -- frankly, anybody -- could win the Nobel Peace prize. Well, anyone who works their ass off for what they believe in and truly does make a difference, which Jody Williams had done with the landmines campaign.

On the downside, I didn't find the book the page-turner that I thought it would be. I think that is sort of natural with any autobiography written by a non-novelist. Nevertheless the book, overall, was a good read because her story is one that most of us can identify with: an unassuming person raised in a dysfunctional and often violent household, with no political upbringing, makes her mark on the world.
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