Author: Paul Chappell

Publisher: Prospecta Press
ISBN: 978-1-935212-78-2

Paul Chappell, author of The Art Of Waging Peace, graduated from West Point and served in Iraq. (2013, book insert) Chappell is an Alabama native and has
authored three prior books. He is now Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation where he lectures in the USA and abroad. To learn more about this author please visit his website at www.paulchappell.com.

I think that an interesting twist to this book is that Chappell came from a military family and military education which teach the key skills and tactics to successfully wage war. He has now come a complete circle to teach and advocate peace. Bravo!

During his time in the military Chappell had opportunity to see both sides of the war and peace coin, In the preface (2013) he says “Waging peace empowers us to create three forms of change…the first form, which has affected my life and the lives of countless others is societal change.” The second is spiritual change. Regarding this Chappell says, “Although state-sanctioned slavery has been abolished, many people in the world are still living under terrible oppression.”(p.11) And that, “Trauma has its own language and logic. Behavior that seems destructive and illogical to others can make complete sense to someone trapped in the distorted logic of trauma.” (pgs.12-13) Lastly, is ideological change.

Chappell says that we must “…break the old stereotype that peace activists are passive and weak.” (2013, p.14) He says that, “Peace is like a beautiful human body, and societal change is the blood, spiritual change is the heart, and ideological change is the brain.” (p.16) In order to make sense of peace one needs to have a complete understanding of war and human nature. [paraphrase] “Good intentions are simply not enough.” (p.19) Therefore, we must go beyond intent and act in accordance with creating a lasting and durable peace.

On page 57 (2013) Chappell says that “Every culture has different standards of respect….becoming skilled at giving respect is one of the most effective and essential methods of waging peace.” Chappell suggests that getting to know the nuances of the differing cultures can help us to understand how they give and receive respect. Tips for doing so in country are: “listen, speak to their potential, and don’t be hypocritical.” (p.58) “Hypocrisy occurs when we do not practice what we preach.” (p.66)

There are steps and suggestions for how to calm people down and to get them to speak about their fears and troubles in ways that do not push hate, but instead promote understanding and equality by speaking about truth. Chapter 11 (2013, p.244) talks about how we can get the left and right to see where they overlap in commonalities and values. There is a bit of something for every level of person to use in the avocation of peace. I enjoyed and think you might too.


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