The Unconquerable World Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-05-01
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books

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A visionary work that explores the limits of violence and charts an unexpectedly hopeful course toward a nonviolent future At times of global crisis, Jonathan Schell's writings have presented influential alternatives to conventional, dead-end thinking. His classic bestseller,The Fate of the Earth, was hailed byThe New York Timesas "an event of profound historical moment." Now as the world stands once more on the brink of upheaval, Schell reenters the fray with a lucid, impassioned, and provocative book that points the way out of the unparalleled devastation of the twentieth century toward another, more peaceful path. Tracing the relentless expansion of violence to its culmination in nuclear stalemate, Schell uncovers a simultaneous but little-noted history of nonviolent action at every level of political life. His historical journey turns up seeds of nonviolence even in the bloody revolutions of America, France, and Russia, as well as in the people's wars of China and Vietnam. And his investigations into the great nonviolent events of modern timesfrom Gandhi's independence movement in India to the explosion of civic activity that brought about the surprising collapse of the Soviet Unionsuggest foundations of an entirely new kind on which to construct an enduring peace. As Schell makes clear, all-out war, with its risk of human extinction, must cease to play the role of final arbiter.The Unconquerable Worldis a bold book of global significance; far from being utopian, it offers the only realistic hope of safety.

Author Biography

Author of groundbreaking works, including The Time of Illusion, The Village of Ben Suc, and The Gift of Time (0-8050-5961-X), Jonathan Schell is a regular contributor to Harper’s, Foreign Affairs, and The Nation. He has taught at Yale, Princeton, and Wesleyan and is a fellow at the Nation Institute and Harvard’s Kennedy School. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Towers and the Wallp. 1
Violencep. 11
The Rise and Fall of the War Systemp. 13
"Nuclear War"p. 47
People's Warp. 63
Nonviolencep. 101
Satyagrahap. 103
Nonviolent Revolution, Nonviolent Rulep. 143
The Mass minority in Action: France and Russiap. 164
Living in Truthp. 186
Cooperative Powerp. 216
The Civil Statep. 233
The Liberal Democratic Revivalp. 235
Liberal Internationalismp. 265
Sovereigntyp. 280
The Shapes of Things to Comep. 303
Niagarap. 305
The Logic of Peacep. 332
Notesp. 389
Acknowledgmentsp. 415
Indexp. 417
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


From The Unconquerable World:The twentieth century produced the most extreme violence that the human species had ever visited upon itself. It was natural—indeed, a necessity—that people would react against that violence, would seek ways to overcome it, to escape it, to go around it, to replace it. In earlier times, violence had been seen as the last resort when all else had failed. But in the twentieth century, a new problem forced itself on the human mind: What was the resort when that last resort had bankrupted itself? Was there a resort beyond the “final” resort? Nuclear deterrence and people’s war were two groping, improvised, incomplete attempts to find answers to this question.

Excerpted from The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People by Jonathan Schell
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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