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NP's book list

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Current & Upcoming

Feminist Solutions for Ending War

Nicole Wegner, Megan MacKenzie

The Wake Up

Michelle MiJung Kim

Recent Reads

Staff Favorites

“Organizing is both science and art. It is thinking through a vision, a strategy, and then figuring out who your targets are, always being concerned about power, always being concerned about how you’re going to actually build power in order to be able to push your issues, in order to be able to get the target to actually move in the way that you want to.”

What if social transformation and liberation isn’t about waiting for someone else to come along and save us? What if ordinary people have the power to collectively free ourselves? In this timely collection of essays and interviews, Mariame Kaba reflects on the deep work of abolition and transformative political struggle.

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning. While the lynching tree symbolized white power and black death, the cross symbolizes divine power and black life God overcoming the power of sin and death. For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on a tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the suffering of the lynching era.

Reviewed by Bruce Hawkins for Friends Journal: "Humankind examines human experience and arrives at George Fox’s conclusion that society can be built on the foundation of respect for (that of God in) every person. In Bregman’s words, “to stand up for human goodness is to take a stand against the powers that be.” His examination of evidence that humans are fundamentally depraved finds that theory built on sand, scientific malfeasance, colonialist fake news, and journalistic sensationalism. His view of history is that millennia ago, humankind fell into the honey-trap of the fertile floodplain between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, where crops grew without much effort. When the climate turned against them, this led to agriculture, armies, and kings, and reduced most of the population to misery. Only in the last two centuries have we begun to escape, bringing on the problem of expanding beyond the capacity of the earth to sustain us." More here.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it's core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilites—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Creating True Peace is both a profound work of spiritual guidance and a practical blueprint for peaceful inner change and global change. It is the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh's answer to our deep-rooted crisis of violence and our feelings of helplessness, victimization, and fear. As a world-renowned writer, scholar, spiritual leader, and Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most visible, revered activists for peace and Engaged Buddhism -- the practice he created that combines mindful living and social action. Having lived through two wars in his native Vietnam, he works to prevent conflict of all kinds -- from the internal violence of individual thoughts to interpersonal and international aggression. [...] Thich Nhat Hanh uses a beautiful blend of visionary insight, inspiring stories of peacemaking, and a combination of meditation practices and instruction to show us how to take Right Action. A book for people of all faiths, it is a magnum opus -- a compendium of peace practices that can help anyone practice nonviolent thought and behavior, even in the midst of world upheaval.

See our peacekeeper's book review. In this riveting anatomy of authoritarianism, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us inside the battle between dictators and those who would challenge their rule. Recent history has seen an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy—with waves of protests sweeping Syria and Yemen, and despots falling in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. But the Arab Spring is only the latest front in a global battle between freedom and repression, a battle that, until recently, dictators have been winning hands-down. The problem is that today’s authoritarians are not like the frozen-in-time, ready-to-crack regimes of Burma and North Korea. They are ever-morphing, technologically savvy, and internationally connected, and have replaced more brutal forms of intimidation with subtle coercion. The Dictator’s Learning Curve explains this historic moment and provides crucial insight into the fight for democracy.

Americans precede anything negative with three nice comments; French, Dutch, Israelis, and Germans get straight to the point; Latin Americans and Asians are steeped in hierarchy; Scandinavians think the best boss is just one of the crowd. It's no surprise that when they try and talk to each other, chaos breaks out.

In The Culture Map, INSEAD professor Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain in which people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together. She provides a field-tested model for decoding how cultural differences impact international business, and combines a smart analytical framework with practical, actionable advice.

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