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Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas


Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas Cover

ISBN13: 9780521670005
ISBN10: 0521670004
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Veteran scholar and peace activist David Cortright offers a definitive history of the human striving for peace and an analysis of its religious and intellectual roots. This authoritative, balanced, and highly readable volume traces the rise of peace advocacy and internationalism from their origins in earlier centuries through the mass movements of recent decades: the pacifist campaigns of the 1930s, the Vietnam antiwar movement, and the waves of disarmament activism that peaked in the 1980s. Also explored are the underlying principles of peace - nonviolence, democracy, social justice, and human rights - all placed within a framework of 'realistic pacifism'. Peace brings the story up-to-date by examining opposition to the Iraq War and responses to the so-called 'war on terror'. This is history with a modern twist, set in the context of current debates about 'the responsibility to protect', nuclear proliferation, Darfur, and conflict transformation.


A definitive history of peace advocacy and an analysis of its religious and intellectual roots.

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jglick, December 8, 2008 (view all comments by jglick)
I know David, and was fortunate to receive a copy of PEACE. Below are my thoughts in response to my first read through:

In PEACE, veteran scholar and peace activist David Cortright has shaped much of the history about which he writes, first as a young soldier-initiator of the successful movement against the Vietnam War from within Army ranks; in the 1980s as the director of SANE, the largest antinuclear organization in the U.S.; in 2002 as the initiator of the popular Win Without War movement; and now as a consultant and scholar who not only still actively works in the grass roots trenches, but is also consulting with others in the international arena about how to successfully wage peace against the forces of violence and war.

Cortright has plenty to say about the how the oft-overlooked and dismissed tools of realistic pacifism have been honed by history and can be employed to most successfully address some of our stickiest global situations of violence--the crisis in Iraq, the bungled diplomacy in Iran, famine and displacement of large populations caused by war. Violent conflict is the direct and indirect protagonist of most of the suffering in the world, and Cortright shows how the reliance on tools of violence have failed to address global differences time and time again.

Peace is an education in itself and should be required reading for every policy practitioner involved in global decision making. The concepts in this book should be taught in schools alongside the general history courses that continue to rely heavily on the vantage point of warriors.

It is no mistake that Cambridge University Press chose David Cortright to write this book. He has risen to the occasion and offered a concise, accurate, and highly readable volume on peace that few others could.
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Product Details

Cortright, David
Cambridge University Press
Conflict management
Religion Comparative-General
Politics - General
Publication Date:
8.88x6.10x.88 in. 1.38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » Activism and Peace Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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Product details 376 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521670005 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A definitive history of peace advocacy and an analysis of its religious and intellectual roots.
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