Non-violence is not the same thing as pacifism, Mark Kurlansky reminds us; it is active opposition to violence or oppression by such non-violent. I very much enjoyed reading this book, although its title is something of a misnomer, as it is mostly a history of war resistance and anti-war thought. Another slight. In this timely, highly original, and controversial narrative, New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky discusses nonviolence as a distinct entity.

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George Orwell was never much for pacifists. From whatever angle you see it, only light can drive out the darkness.

Mark Kurlansky, ‘Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea’

Overall, useful information and a quick read. One that sticks out in my mind is the labelling of the Franco-Prussian war which on its face was bad, because it was war—don’t forget as something which primarily caused the First World War.

This nonviolenc not meant to be an in-depth book. One of my favourite quotes that’s stuck in my mind is one by Hannah Arendt – “The practice of nonviolenxe changes the world, but the most probable change is a more violent world.

And there are more experiences of nonviolent change included in the concluding pages of the book. And the peace movement, at its best, never really espoused nonviolence but simply non war. In his new book, jurlansky shows a command of a sweeping body of pacifist history, and he makes centuries of material flow into an overview that is far more combative than its protagonists’ peaceful ways might suggest.


So, as a whole, I give the book three stars. At the core of “Nonviolence” lies a series of “What if?

Statements of nonviolent doctrine appear in each of the major world religions, and Kurlansky prepares a succinct and useful survey of them. Ads are currently disabled.

That he erred by a decade in referencing when America and Britain granted suffrage to women makes me wonder what else might be incorrect. Mark Kurlansky is an excellent writer, He makes a very strong case for nonviolence. And, I must say that this is a great read!

Nonviolence is a fascinating book which will help you to think about the futility of war and violence, nonviopence hopefully it’ll encourage more people to question and proactively change through nonviolent means the power-mad agendas of their governments. I went into this book with low expectations.

Feb 02, Nonviolencce rated it it was amazing Shelves: Some of the standard heroes of this story, most notably Mahatma Ghandi, work better in legend than the cold light of history, according to critics: On the importance of the right to offend Read more. Mobilising for peace Feature. I’ve included them, here, if you’re interested to be honest: The key piece of takeaway is the infiltration of stooges into a movement Having read nonviolejce few of Mr.

For example, the author talks about the genocide of Jews in WW2 and gives us the example of Denmark: Religions justify violent warfare more often than they proscribe it.


The Hindu principle of “ahimsa,” or “not doing harm,” is an old tenet that Gandhi would later find significant and that is taken to extremes by the Jainists, who “keep their mouths masked to insure that they do not accidentally inhale a tiny insect.


The book is fairly short, so he does not go into too much detail but enough to entice nonviolnece imagination of those that dream of a way of life without violence. Some A strong start wavers as Mr. It simply needs to be embraced and accelerated. Jul 28, Seth rated it liked it.

Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky

And even those he chose to use, there are other possible and more likely translations from the original languages that would lead one to a different conclusion. The story of the Danish reaction to occupation by Nazi Germany shows how Danes took direct action to accomplish nonviolence rather than simple passivity.

Bose rejected Gandhi’s ahimsa in favour of mass militant revolution. Is it just the turned around reasoning that is supposed to convince us here? Review by Chris Cole. The Nonvuolence and English firebombing of cities killing thousands of civilians and the atomic bombing of Japan are also brought into the conversation about war.

Are pensions worth dying for?