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Why Peace Paperback – January 1, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 636 pages
  • Publisher: Marc Guttman (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984980202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984980208
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eva F. Kosinski on April 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you find yourself asking "how did we get into so many wars?" this is the place to look for answers. You may not agree with every perspective, but I'm pretty sure they're all here.

It's a view-from-every perspective of what war is, what it's not, why people want it, why it never seems to do what we thought it would do, and it's probably got enough information, complete with bibliographies and citations, to qualify as a for-credit class.

there are so many viewpoints, from folks who were working in countries that were at war (for NGOs, for example), to those who emigrated to the US to get away from repressive regimes in North Korea and Cuba, to those who had to try to win "minds and hearts" in Afghanistan. A South African talks about living under apartheid. There are many articles by ex-military; some had very senior positions. And there are articles trying to get at the heart of the sinister military-industrial-congressional connection that pushes constantly at our government to keep the arms sales going.

We've been taught a lot of things about war. Some are spin, some are jingoistic efforts to substitute patriotism for thinking, some are catchphrases, "war is hell," "the first casualty of war is the truth," etc., but frankly, I was somewhat unprepared for this book.

I now have a stack of papers sitting by the book, full of quotations from its various authors, because every new section contains some serious, thought-provoking questions, and sometimes news that we've never heard before.

We remember Vietnam, but only a few are aware of what happened in the Plain of Jars, a bombing by the US kept secret from the public for over 5 years and continued for 9.

It is a disturbing book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great anthology of essays by some of the most thoughtful lovers of peace, liberty and humanity in recent times. You don't have to be a pacifist to appreciate its many insights but if you've got a hair trigger temperament, this is your antidote. -- Lawrence W. Reed, President, Foundation for Economic Education.
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Compilation of many knowledgable people's real life experiences, this book is well written and enjoyable to read. A college professor of political science or history would find this a valuable adjunct to their lectures.
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The variety and scope of the articles in this hefty volume is amazing. I can't say I agree with every author, but each raises points worthy of consideration. I believe every U.S. and state congressman in the U.S. should be required to read every page before assuming office or starting another term. I would strongly recommend this collection of essays and articles to anyone remotely concerned about conflict or violence in our world.

The one drawback I found to this book is that I loaned it to a pastor and never got it back. I'll order another copy for myself!
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Format: Paperback
Powerful and chilling; thanks so much, Marc, for giving us such an important book. Why Peace offers a compilation of essays by those who've experienced and witnessed the violence of war and the suffering of oppression firsthand, whether as journalists, prisoners, activists, human rights workers, soldiers. From Sarajevo to the Sudan, from Iraq to North Korea, and Guantanamo to Vietnam, come stories so extraordinary that I often found them hard to read, but I couldn't put it down. I know I'll never forget the tiny children who died of fear, clinging to one another as bombs fell around their home.

But there is also an overlying hope in Why Peace, a hope that is borne in the compassion and hearts of those working for justice, and those simply living (surviving) in horrendous situations but retaining their humanity, continuing to reach beyond their own suffering to help others. Why Peace offers a glimpse into the policies and practices that foster violence and shape our acceptance of what, with a true awareness, we could only condemn. A timely book, as we once again hear the distant drumming of the warmongers. This book can only help but bring us closer to answering the title's question, an answer that simply must be - to preserve humanity.

Thank you, Marc, for this book and for all you do to bringing us closer to Peace.
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Marc Guttman is an emergency physician, and the editor of "Why Liberty: Personal Journeys Toward Peace & Freedom", a collection of essays explaining their authors' choice of libertarianism as the solution to the world's ills. To follow, Guttman invited prominent, and not-so-prominent advocates and activists on behalf of peace to share their experiences and philosophies. "Why Peace" is a collection of 78 responses to that invitation, and it is worth the read on more than one level.

(Full disclosure: I know personally one of the contributors; I worked with Blase Bonpane and his organization, The Office of the Americas in Santa Monica, California, for several years, and spent 6 weeks with Blase on the International March for Peace in Central America over the winter of 1985-86.)

I found the book's most interesting and significant level simply to be the moving personal histories of many of the activists --- usually working in distant countries ruled by dictators -- along with the historical information that they also provide which I was unaware of. Guttman's introduction is itself an eloquent and inspiring personal appeal to peace and justice.

The next interesting level was the libertarian slant barely below the surface of many of the essays; some by activists, some by academics and politicians. All promote peace as being the natural outcome of libertarianism, which, in theory at least, results in imminently desirable economic progress for everyone. Whatever one's view of libertarianism might be, the essays are useful examples of libertarian prose and reasoning.
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