Christian Council for Monetary Justice
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The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the People
by Jonathan Schell (Penguin. £8.99)

Science in the 20th century turned war into mutual annihilation. According to Jonathan Schell, this broke the link between politics and warfare for the first time. The end of the cold war could have heralded an era of co-operation and non-violence. Instead, post-9/11, we are again poised before the abyss, just as 1914: "the path to hell on earth and the end of the earth" awaits.

Schell offers a brilliant analysis of how we got here and what we do now. His history of non-violence shows that there is hope - revolutions can succeed without violence, "structures of co-operative power" can replace coercion. To wean politics off violence, Schell wants all weapons of mass destruction abolished: "A decision for non-violence, in our time, is a decision to exist. After the overblown rhetoric of the war on terror, at last someone is exploring solutions that don't involve bunker-busters or daisy-cutters. A much needed dose of enlightened idealism in a darkening wor1d.  

Review by P D Smith, October 2005