Throughout history civilization has been shaped by war. Now, after a century of unprecedented devastation, it seems humankind is preparing to embark on another cycle of violence. Are we condemned to be in a state of perpetual warfare? In this lucid, impassioned, provocative book Schell shows how the underlying dynamics of history have often been shaped not by military actions, but by battles for the hearts and minds of the people. His close re-examinations of the British, French and Russian revolutions, the collapse of Soviet power in eastern Europe in 1989, the war in Vietnam and other key moments in history illustrate how all these events can be understood in a new way when viewed through the prism of non-violence.Now that recent events in Iraq have borne out the force of Schell’s arguments – that it is not always the military battles that matter most – this inspiring book shows that there is, and always has been, an alternative to war as a way of directing human society.
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