Synopses & Reviews
and#147;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 and#145;citizen diplomacyand#8217; 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.and#8221;and#151;Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
and#147;Jody Williams is an activist's activistand#151;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.and#8221;and#151;Mia Farrow, actor and activist
and#147;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."and#151;Eve Ensler, author, actor, activist
and#147;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 herand#151;whether she's speaking or writingand#151;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.and#8221;and#151;Pat Mitchell, CEO, the Paley Center; former CEO, PBS
and#147;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.and#8221;and#151;Audrey Wells, screenwriter, director, activist
“Williams work ably demonstrates how a single person can make a great difference.” Kirkus Reviews
"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 and#8211; 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."
and#8220;Williamsand#8217; work ably demonstrates how a single person can make a great difference.and#8221;
As Eve Ensler says in her inspired foreword to this book, and#147;Jody Williams is many thingsand#151;a simple girl from Vermont, a sister of a disabled brother, a loving wife, an intense character full of fury and mischief, a great strategist, an excellent organizer, a brave and relentless advocate, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But to me Jody Williams is, first and foremost, an activist.and#8221;
From her modest beginnings to becoming the tenth womanand#151;and third American womanand#151;to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Jody Williams takes the reader through the ups and downs of her tumultuous and remarkable life. In a voice that is at once candid, straightforward, and intimate, Williams describes her Catholic roots, her first step on a long road to standing up to bullies with the defense of her deaf brother Stephen, her transformation from good girl to college hippie at the University of Vermont, and her protest of the war in Vietnam. She relates how, in 1981, she began her lifelong dedication to global activism as she battled to stop the U.S.-backed war in El Salvador.
Throughout the memoir, Williams underlines her belief that an and#147;average womanand#8221;and#151;through perseverance, courage and imaginationand#151;can make something extraordinary happen. She tells how, when asked if sheand#8217;d start a campaign to ban and clear anti-personnel mines, she took up the challenge, and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was born. Her engrossing account of the genesis and evolution of the campaign, culminating in 1997 with the Nobel Peace Prize, vividly demonstrates how one womanand#8217;s commitment to freedom, self-determination, and human rights can have a profound impact on people all over the globe.
About the Author
Jody Williams, who received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ban landmines, is founding chair of the Nobel Womenand#8217;s Initiative, launched in January 2006. She is the recipient of fifteen honorary degrees, and in 2004 Forbes magazine named her one of the hundred most powerful women in the world in its first such list. Since 1998 she has served as a Campaign Ambassador for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which she helped found in 1992. Williams holds the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professorship in Peace and Social Justice at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. In 2012and#150;13, she became the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Social Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Table of Contents
Prologue: October 1, 1997
Part I. If You Could Be Anyone
1. What Do You Mean I Canand#8217;t Be the Pope?
2. A Special Place in Hell
3. Claude, Casey, and the Corvair Convertible
4. V-I-E-T-N-A-M, Marriage, and Mexico
Part II. The Making of a Grassroots Activist
5. The Pamphlet
6. Boots on the Ground: Sandinista Interlude
7. Dinner with the Death Squad
8. I Thought I Wanted a Straight Joband#151;Instead I Got Landmines
9. Landmines and Love
1. The Ottawa Process and the 1997 Landmine Ban World Tour
11. Whirlwind: October 1 to December 1, 1997
Illustrations follow page