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The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace Paperback – January 2, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An advocate of a supranational government agency to replace obsolete nation-states and transformation of the military into a national service corps, psychiatrist Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, etc., argues that physical and spiritual salvation no longer can be separated. The only way to combat the public apathy and "militant ignorance" that allow the arms race to continue lies in grass-roots propagation of the community ideal, which the church and government have lost, argues the author. Individualism plus groupand self-acceptance, good communication and joint commitment are essential to building a true community whatever its membership and interests. Peck foresees a new era of integration favorable to a community movement that calls for universal application of the personal principles of tolerance and love. Renouncing both policies of appeasement and deterrence, he proposes a "peace through weakness" strategy that dares us to "empty" ourselves of outmoded ideas of security to the extent of facing the economic consequences of eliminating the arms race. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In his newest book psychiatrist Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled ( LJ 9/15/78), explores the nature of community, which can be recognized, he suggests, by the vulnerability, honesty, and theological cultural inclusiveness of its participants. Born of a yearning for world peace, this draws exciting analogies between the ways communities emerge and the dynamics of individual spiritual development. A moving work that achieves a rich integration of social/psychological insights and a contemplative stance. EC
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 2nd Touchstone edition (January 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684848589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684848587
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M. Scott Peck's publishing history reflects his own evolution as a serious and widely acclaimed writer, thinker, psychiatrist, and spiritual guide. Since his groundbreaking bestseller, The Road Less Traveled, was first published in 1978, his insatiable intellectual curiosity has taken him in various new directions with virtually each new book: the subject of healing human evil in People of the Lie (1982), where he first briefly discussed exorcism and possession; the creative experience of community in The Different Drum (1987); the role of civility in personal relationships and society in A World Waiting to Be Born (1993); an examination of the complexities of life and the paradoxical nature of belief in Further Along the Road Less Traveled (1993); and an exploration of the medical, ethical, and spiritual issues of euthanasia in Denial of the Soul (1999); as well as a novel, a children's book, and other works. A graduate of both Harvard University and Case Western Reserve, Dr. Peck served in the Army Medical Corps before maintaining a private practice in psychiatry. For the last twenty years, he has devoted much of his time and financial resources to the work of the Foundation for Community Encouragement, a nonprofit organization that he helped found in 1984. Dr. Peck lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By One Community on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a community builder (Google "One Community Ranch") and this book is mandatory reading for anyone joining One Community and our world changing vision. Dr. Peck did a lot of research on the differences between traditional community and what he calls "true community" and this book is about how and why he came to the process of studying and teaching people how to get into true community, what the pitfalls are and what can be achieved with true community, a few examples of true community tracked over many years, and how it all applies to the individual and the world. Loaded with interesting stories, anecdotes, real world examples and experience, this book is a page turner and a good read for anyone that works with groups, in a group, or who would like to improve their relationships.

Seventeen chapters and 334 pages, the book is divided into three parts: The Foundation, The Bridge, and The Solution

Appropriately titled, "The Foundation" is the first 160 pages of the book and contains the real "gems" and details of community building and maintenance. If you read only this section you will be glad you purchased this book. Peck spends about 45 pages talking about the profound impact 4 "true community" experiences had in his life, the classes he has taught, and other details building his case for the true meaning and potential of community that he summarizes as this:

-Inclusivity, commitment and consensus: Members accept and embrace each other, celebrating their individuality and transcending their differences. They commit themselves to the effort and the people involved. They make decisions and reconcile their differences through consensus.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dana Leipold on May 4, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Community isn't what we think it is. Peck does an impeccable job of explaining true community and why it is so elusive in our society. Though he mentions over and over that he is an idealist, Peck presents some very intelligent arguments as to why a community approach just makes sense. He isn't naive either. He says the road to community can be painful and extremely hard.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Czyz on September 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Once again Peck's integrative approach (integrating psychology, spirituality (not dogma), and philosophy with practical experience) has produced a work of profound depth and value. In our times of "global war," the doctor's ideas about community making and peace are a prescription we could all benefit from.
In the context of spirituality, Peck draws from the Christian tradition as well as Judaism and eastern philosophy (e.g. Zen). However, readers of any religious persuasion should find abundant value and wisdom in this book.
On a personal note, his portrayal of a healthy non-dogmatic Christianity was one of the factors that made me want to become a Christian when I first read his work many years ago. This book, along with the "Road Less Traveled" series had a profound impact on my life and will remain at eye-level on my bookshelf forever.
[If you're interested in good non-dogmatic and readable Christian theology and life-changing ideas... I also highly recommend works by Richard Rohr.]
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alexander C. Zorach on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I think this book is groundbreaking and outright revolutionary in some ways, but I also think that it loses me on certain points, and has some serious shortcomings that cloud the message and make it hard to extract the truth from it, especially as one gets deeper into the book.

I think that, in this book, Peck accurately grasps the distinction between what he considers true community, and what he later calls "pseudocommunity". It is this distinction that I think is so groundbreaking and revolutionary. I was unable to find much else of value in the book though. Peck makes the bold claim early in the book that he's figured out how groups evolve from "pseudocommunity" into true community, and that he is going to outline it in a clear theory in such a way that allows people to replicate this process and thus create community. I think the book falls very short of this bold claim. I also think that while Peck is very good about presenting his own religious and spiritual beliefs as subjective, rather than forcing them on the reader, he is completely terrible about doing the same for his own psychological views, which he presents as objective AND forces on the reader in such a way that, ironically, goes against the sort of community Peck is trying to create.

I was really on board with this book for the first four chapters, in which Peck was speaking mainly from his own personal experiences, and making observations that I found to be more objective. But part of the way through the fifth chapter, I found that the book started getting into more subjective analysis of group dynamics. I also found that the subjective analysis did not resonate as much with my own personal experience as did the personal experiences that Peck shared earlier on in the book.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Edwardson Tan on October 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
After being catapulted to fame by his first book--the best-selling "The Road Less Travelled" --psychiatrist Morgan Scott Peck follows it up with another one on psychology and spirituality. The chapter that captured my interest without let was the one on his theory of psychospiritual development. He delineates four stages, each representing a more mature level of development than the preceding stage.
Peck claims that he arrived at this theory through experience, although he footnotes the fact that there have been many theories on psychological development prior to his, the most recent being a six-stage faith developmental model (see "Stages of Faith" by James W. Fowler)
Although Peck's elucidation of his theory is informal and sketchy, I find his model of psychospiritual development idiosyncratic enough to be regarded as a separate theory by itself.
Peck aptly calls it psychospiritual since it has both psychological and spiritual/religious dimensions. It is much akin to the developmental theories in psychology, yet it has a very strong religious flavor--Stage 1 being the lack of spirituality/ethical behavior, Stage 2 as orthodoxly religious, Stage 3 as a time of religious skepticism or atheism, and Stage 4 the mystical level.
Yet I believe Peck's theory tends to be ethically judgmental in character, i.e., it explicitly holds the higher stages as undeniably better than the lower ones, and tends to describe people in ethical terms--'chaotic/unprincipled' (Stage 1), or dogmatic (Stage 2), or principled (Stage 3)
Nevertheless, I see the veracity of such categories, albeit demanding much care and caution. Pigeonholing, specially in ethical terms, is dangerous business and can easily be misused and abused. However, I believe that Dr. Peck has realized the limitations of his theory and has provided caveats and exceptions in his later books, such as in "Further Along the Road Less Travelled"
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