ALL OF ONE PEACE by Colman McCarthy


Essays on Nonviolence
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 A collection of essays by a syndicated Washington Post columnist whose radically nonviolent ethos regularly breaks ranks with the establishment liberal crowd. In 1982 McCarthy founded the Center for Teaching Peace, an organization that supports courses on nonviolence, and some of his best columns here recall those classrooms: How college students know ``more about the Bataan death march than Gandhi's salt march'' and how peace education might counteract our society's violent impulses. He critiques the pre-Gulf War flights of rhetoric as ``a textbook example of how not to manage conflict'' and tartly suggests that CNN should more accurately label its programming ``Slaughter in the Gulf.'' If his opposition to the death penalty is predictable, he ups the ante, challenging vengeance-seekers to draw and quarter murderers. He tries to balance the rights of women seeking abortion with the rights of unborn children--which he views as living beings; he supports both those offering alternatives to abortion as well as to overburdened new mothers. McCarthy criticizes Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall for supporting abortion rights and also offers several forceful columns on animal rights, including a spirited account of a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Columns on so-called ``troublesome women,'' such as Montana congresswoman Jeannette Rankin and singer/activist Joan Baez, as well as his defenses of bicycle riding are also good, but his warmhearted columns on baseball, however welcome in a daily newspaper, seem out of place in this package. The brevity of the columns leaves some issues undeveloped, and McCarthy avoids some hard questions--no discussion of the Holocaust here--but he's still an admirable and unusual voice in American journalism.

Pub Date: July 11th, 1994
ISBN: 0-8135-2096-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Rutgers Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1994