This is not a call to action, as I had originally thought it was. It is a memoir of a life in successful activism. It recounts how humble beginnings could grow into far reaching accomplishments. It doesn’t appear to pull any punches when it comes to the circumstances that this woman and many of the other people in her country were living in before the women decided that it was enough and organized their own, peaceful, action.
This is yet another example of how peace can be active and peaceful protest and actions can lead to far greater things than fighting. It’s also honest about the aftermath of war, and this is an area that many people forget about. It’s easy to say the war is over and we must bring our people home, but it’s hard to realize that you are leaving a shattered generation who aren’t familiar with things that are not violent. It mentions the ways that peace builders can further victimize the women of a post-war country and the ways that these countries must build much of their own peace. It’s a long and hard road back to a feeling secure and building futures. I hope to one day see a sequel that recounts the ways that they fully recuperated and the things that they did. Unfortunately, I realize how unrealistic it is to think that this can happen any time soon. Wounds take far longer to heal than they take to create.
This is a powerful book. It definitely makes me feel like I can do far more than I’ve dreamed while contrasting with an overwhelming feelings that I will never do enough. Mentioning many of the sacrifices in her personal life, though, Gbowee makes it clear that it is a hard life to continue to choose. You have to decide everyday if what you are doing is worth the sacrifice of time with your own family. Hopefully they grow to appreciate what you’ve done for the bigger picture.
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