A thoughtful, though ultimately unpersuasive, approach to Middle East peace.


Debut author Hutter offers a hopeful solution to the violent conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. 

Many people consider this long-running dispute to be fundamentally intractable, but the author writes that he finds reason for optimism in historical examples—and what he sees as the nature of religion itself. He first establishes the historical context in which the crisis emerged in the 20th century, when Jewish people fled to the Middle East to establish a sanctuary from oppression. Israel’s statehood was interpreted as a threat by the Palestinians and the Muslim community at large, who saw it as an “utterly unacceptable outrage” manufactured by colonial powers, Hutter says. However, he asserts that the Palestinian community, and Muslims at large, were insufficiently empathetic to the plight of Jews, whose existence as a people was endangered. The author goes on to say that both religions contain deep reserves of compassion and the will necessary for reconciliation—theological virtues that have appeared time and time again throughout history. This “peace potential,” he points out, is a feature of all three major Abrahamic faiths, citing as evidence a meeting between the grand imam of the Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo and Pope Francis in 2016. Hutter makes several concrete and refreshingly original political proposals in this book; he advocates an arrangement that would permit the sharing of the great “Noble” shrine al-Haram al-Sharif (aka the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem, and another that addresses the incorporation of controversial Jewish settlements into a new Palestinian state. However, the crux of any lasting détente, he avers, can’t only be political, but also must involve public declarations of religious respect, including mutual expressions of empathy and contrition. The author lucidly chronicles the long arc of the conflict, discussing the history of relations between devotees of the three Abrahamic religions. His approach is eclectically multidisciplinary, which is unsurprising, given that Hutter is a Catholic theologian, psychotherapist, and Sufi master. However, even he acknowledges that his proposals may strike others as akin to a “fairy tale,” due to the animosity that exists on both sides of the conflict. 

A thoughtful, though ultimately unpersuasive, approach to Middle East peace. 

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4808-7242-4

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2019

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.


Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.


Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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