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Publisher's Summary

In this timely, highly original, and controversial narrative, New York Times best-selling author Mark Kurlansky discusses nonviolence as a distinct entity, a course of action, rather than a mere state of mind. Nonviolence can and should be a technique for overcoming social injustice and ending wars, he asserts, which is why it is the preferred method of those who speak truth to power. Nonviolence is a sweeping yet concise history that moves from ancient Hindu times to present-day conflicts raging in the Middle East and elsewhere. Kurlansky also brings into focus just why nonviolence is a "dangerous" idea, and asks such provocative questions as: Is there such a thing as a "just war"? Could nonviolence have worked against even the most evil regimes in history?

Kurlansky draws from history 25 provocative lessons on the subject that we can use to effect change today. He shows how, time and again, violence is used to suppress nonviolence and its practitioners - Gandhi and Martin Luther King, for example; that the stated deterrence value of standing national armies and huge weapons arsenals is, at best, negligible; and, encouragingly, that much of the hard work necessary to begin a movement to end war is already complete. It simply needs to be embraced and accelerated.

Engaging, scholarly, and brilliantly reasoned, Nonviolence is a work that compels listeners to look at history in an entirely new way. This is not just a manifesto for our times but a trailblazing book whose time has come.

©2006 Mark Kurlansky (P)2006 Recorded Books

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A brief, necessary account of the history of nonviolence

An important, necessary sketch of the history of nonviolence. But it is only a sketch. Much more to be said about the different ways people have thought of nonviolence or the strategies they have used. It’s a start though. It skews to the analysis of nonviolence as an anti-war movement, and as an alternative to war.

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Excellent and deeply flawed at the same time.

Firstly, understand that I like Mark Kurlansky. I have read his other works and I enjoyed reading them. Although he makes some of the same errors in them as he does in this book, obviously his worldview taints his writing. I did find his commentary on nonviolence fascinating and well worth the read. However...

Mark Kurlansky, has obviously fallen victim to an all too common foible of western authors. Believing that he understands Christianity at a far greater level then he does, causing him not to seek the much needed clarification, before making his errant claims. In addition to his numerous errors about Christianity Mark also exposes his profound ignorance of the Quran and Mohammed by repeating obvious Muslim propaganda instead of historical fact. Dogmatic errors abound as well, too many for me to slog through the entire book in one go. For who knows how honest the rest of the book is, if he makes such glaring errors where contrary proof is so abundant.

Knowing that his understanding of Islam was lacking Mark probably found himself a Muslim scholar or collection of highly propagandised books and proceeded to ingest it without exposure to critical analysis. Resulting in his numerous errors. The frequency of this type of regurgitating inaccuracies only helps to solidify falsehoods in the minds of "scholars"!! And that is a cause for great concern!!

I would suggest a caution to EVERYONE raised in a Catholic environment, that they have been thus inoculated against a vibrant living Christianity by regular exposure to it in a twisted and dead form. There are MANY important/vital/foundational concepts and truths that are entirely missed by those who believe that they understand far far far more then they do. Simply because they grew up as Catholics. It is such a specific form of cognitive headbinding, that I can spot someone raised as a Catholic by reading the first 1-2 chapters of their book. With the possible exception of the Greek Orthodox...

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Lesson 23 missing from narration

Lesson 23 - Violence is a virus that infects and takes over.

Not sure why this lesson was skipped. With that said, I still highly recommend including this audiobook in your audible library.