10 books like Peacemakers in Action

By Joyce S. Dubensky (editor),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Peacemakers in Action. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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East West Street

By Philippe Sands,

Book cover of East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

This book relates the suspenseful and twisted path through which two of the world’s worst human rights abuses finally came to be recognized following World War II and the Holocaust. Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jewish lawyer who lost dozens of family members in the Holocaust, led the campaign for genocide to be recognized as a crime under international law. The banner for crimes against humanity was carried by Hersch Lauterpacht. Although both men lobbied the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal to recognize the particular form of human rights that they espoused, they never actually met. But Sands makes it clear that genocide and crimes against humanity are based on fundamentally different, and at times, opposed concepts of human rights. One is focused on the rights of individuals and the other on the rights of entire groups. Sands’ book is one of the best analyses of the complexities of remaking international law,…

East West Street

By Philippe Sands,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked East West Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017

SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER

When he receives an invitation to deliver a lecture in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, international lawyer Philippe Sands begins a journey on the trail of his family's secret history. In doing so, he uncovers an astonishing series of coincidences that lead him halfway across the world, to the origins of international law at the Nuremberg trial. Interweaving the stories of the two Nuremberg prosecutors (Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin) who invented the crimes or genocide and crimes against humanity, the Nazi governor responsible for…


Fields of Blood

By Karen Armstrong,

Book cover of Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence

One of the most popular historians of religion, this book examines each of the great religions over time and reveals the context for the warrior traditions that emerged in them. One of her key insights is that every religious movement is rooted in the fear…"that modern society is out to destroy not only their faith but also themselves and their entire way of life.… When people fear annihilation, their horizons tend to shrink and they can lash out violently.”

Fields of Blood

By Karen Armstrong,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Fields of Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is the most persistent myth of our time: religion is the cause of all violence. But history suggests otherwise. Karen Armstrong, former Roman Catholic nun and one of our foremost scholars of religion, speaks out to disprove the link between religion and bloodshed.

* Religion is as old as humanity: Fields of Blood goes back to the Stone Age hunter-gatherers and traces religion through the centuries, from medieval crusaders to modern-day jihadists.

* The West today has a warped concept of religion: we regard faith as a personal and private matter, but for most of history faith has informed…


Religion and Violence, Religion and Peace

By Joseph H. Ehrenkranz (editor), David L. Coppola (editor),

Book cover of Religion and Violence, Religion and Peace

Ever since I’ve been engaged in interreligious and peacebuilding work, I’ve struggled with the question of whether religion is the cause of violence or its solution. This book on proceedings of an Auschwitz conference in Poland does a deep dive into religion being both a cause and victim of violence. It examines where religious violence fits into other forms of violence as well as the roots of peace in various religious traditions. Its nuanced and revealing essays were an enormous help to me in formulating my own thinking and helped educate me in the roots of international human rights law. Not being a historian myself, the essays gave me a grounding in events about which I had only superficial knowledge. I personally know and have worked with a number of the contributors. As such, I can vouch for their authority and the esteem in which they are held.

Religion and Violence, Religion and Peace

By Joseph H. Ehrenkranz (editor), David L. Coppola (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Religion and Violence, Religion and Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based on papers presented at a 1998 conference held in Auschwitz and sponsored by the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University, this volume focuses on the role that religion plays in cultivating peace or promoting violence. Contributors include Amira Shamma Abdin, Anthony J. Cernera, David L. Coppola, Georges Cottier, OP, Cahal B. Cardinal Daly, Rabbi Joseph H. Ehrenkranz, Archbishop Jeremiasz, William H. Cardinal Keeler, Franciszek Cardinal Macharski, Martin Marty, Elisabeth Maxwell, Samuel Pisar, David Rosen, and Rene-Samuel Sirat.


Not in God's Name

By Jonathan Sacks,

Book cover of Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence

The late Rabbi Sacks served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth. This was one of the last books he wrote before his death. He makes the case that religion is not only the cause of violence but also part of the solution to violence. In each chapter, he deeply analyzes a different religious text and evinces eye-opening interpretations. Perhaps most prescient are his notions of “altruistic evil” and “pathological dualism.” Pathological dualism operates in three ways: first, it dehumanizes and demonizes your enemies; second, it portrays the perpetrator as the victim; and third, it leads the perpetrator to commit altruistic evil—killing others as a perceived favor to humanity. As Sacks so movingly asserts, “When religion turns men into murderers, God weeps.”

Not in God's Name

By Jonathan Sacks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not in God's Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite predictions of continuing secularisation, the twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of religious extremism and violence in the name of God.

In this powerful and timely book, Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, focusing on the historic tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Drawing on arguments from evolutionary psychology, game theory, history, philosophy, ethics and theology, Sacks shows how a tendency to violence can subvert even the most compassionate of religions. Through a close reading of key biblical texts at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths, Sacks then challenges…


High Conflict

By Amanda Ripley,

Book cover of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out

Amanda Ripley is a smart journalist and exquisite writer who knows how to weave a compelling tale. She spent several years studying mediation and conflict resolution, and visiting conflict research labs like mine at Columbia and Jon Haidt’s at NYU, in order to offer this informed, accessible book. Amanda is able to easily communicate the problem of what she calls “high conflict”, the opposite of “good conflict”, and steps we all can take to decrease the worst forms of these in our life. An excellent and useful book.

High Conflict

By Amanda Ripley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked High Conflict as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When we are baffled by the insanity of the "other side"-in our politics, at work, or at home-it's because we aren't seeing how the conflict itself has taken over.

That's what "high conflict" does. It's the invisible hand of our time. And it's different from the useful friction of healthy conflict. That's good conflict, and it's a necessary force that pushes us to be better people.

High conflict, by contrast, is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the normal rules of engagement no longer…


Developing Your Conflict Competence

By Craig E. Runde, Tim A. Flanagan,

Book cover of Developing Your Conflict Competence: A Hands-On Guide for Leaders, Managers, Facilitators, and Teams

To do more and to lead a team of experts, conflict is necessary to get a great outcome. Some people are comfortable with conflict, some are not. Either way, as a leader, you need a toolkit on what to do and not to do to de-escalate tension and develop healthy debate. This book is the best toolkit I know. 

Developing Your Conflict Competence

By Craig E. Runde, Tim A. Flanagan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Developing Your Conflict Competence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A practical resource, this book combines tips, checklists, exercises, and stories to outline concrete processes that improve the way leaders, managers, and anyone within an organization responds to conflict. Beginning with a series of questions and self-diagnostics, the authors show you how to: maintain emotional balance in the face of conflict; implement constructive communications techniques; help others deal with conflicts that are causing organization problems; establish norms for handling conflict; use specific approaches for addressing conflict more effectively. "A must-have guidebook for the new age of global business. This book shows every leader how to turn feelings of fear into…


Beyond War

By Douglas P. Fry,

Book cover of Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace

Douglas Fry is a paleoanthropologist who shows unambiguously that war is a modern human invention.  Before the advent of agriculture there was no war. There was often violence – bumping off a resource-draining grandmother – but no systematic fighting and killing. With agriculture came an exploding population, nowhere to flee and hide, and fixed assets that you just couldn’t pick up and leave. But as starting war is a function of culture, so ending war is a function of culture. The United Nations is not perfect, but it has been hugely important in reducing conflict.  

Beyond War

By Douglas P. Fry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A profoundly heartening view of human nature, Beyond War offers a hopeful prognosis for a future without war. Douglas P. Fry convincingly argues that our ancient ancestors were not innately warlike-and neither are we. He points out that, for perhaps ninety-nine percent of our history, for well over a million years, humans lived in nomadic hunter-and-gatherer groups, egalitarian bands where warfare was a rarity. Drawing on archaeology and fascinating recent
fieldwork on hunter-gatherer bands from around the world, Fry debunks the idea that war is ancient and inevitable. For instance, among Aboriginal Australians, warfare was an extreme anomaly. Fry also…


Leading Through Collaboration

By John P. Glaser,

Book cover of Leading Through Collaboration: Guiding Groups to Productive Solutions

A very personal look at strategies, mindsets and tools to create collaborative leaders and more collaborative organizations. John Glaser balances both theory and practical advice gained from his extensive experience as both an outside consultant and an internal leader, as school superintendent of one of California’s most prominent and successful school districts, Napa Valley Unified School District. John Glaser knows what he’s writing about.

Leading Through Collaboration

By John P. Glaser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leading Through Collaboration as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

`Written by a very successful leader, problem solver and negotiator, the book combines a strong rationale for its practices, well delineated practical strategies, and vignettes from John Glaser's extensive background that provides the reader with a clear understanding of how to become a truly collaborative leader' - Pat Wolfe, Education Consultant Mind Matters, Inc

'What a marvelous blend of theory and practice! Glaser's writing is so engaging, so personal, and so informative that you will want to read every word. This book should be a requirement for every person who is serious about learning how to lead.' - Leonard O.…


The Anatomy of Peace

By The Arbinger Institute,

Book cover of The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

Whether we are dealing with interpersonal or intergroup relationships it is easy to slip into an oppositional perspective when it comes to others. Regardless of what the sources of difference are, this book provides insights that can help anyone communicate more productively and lead successfully. I also love the narrative style in which the insights are imparted.  

The Anatomy of Peace

By The Arbinger Institute,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Anatomy of Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the authors of Leadership and Self-Deception (over 2 million copies sold) comes a new edition of this bestseller that has been thoroughly revised to more effectively address the diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges that plague our communities and hinder our organizations.

What if conflicts at home, at work, and in the world stem from the same root cause? What if we systematically misunderstand that cause? And what if, as a result, we unwittingly perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve?

The Anatomy of Peace uses a fictional story of an Arab and a Jew—both of…


Lawyers as Peacemakers

By J. Kim Wright,

Book cover of Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law

In contracting, lawyers are often the heavies that swoop in at the end of the negotiation with risk-averse and protective conditions that can delay or derail a strategic business relationship. This book is the top pick on my list because Kim Wright advocates for organizations (and lawyers themselves!) to make the shift to a holistic, problem-solving approach. I am a strong believer in a kinder, gentler legal involvement at the beginning of the negotiation designed to help contracting parties solve problems and issues jointly. Wright eloquently makes her case on why the shift is needed. After you read this book you too will see the need for the shift of focus away from traditional contracting paradigms.

Lawyers as Peacemakers

By J. Kim Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lawyers as Peacemakers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Teaches lawyers new ways of finding satisfaction in thier practice and providing comprehensive, solution-focused services to clients; sometimes it's not about winning, it's about finding the best possible answer for everyone involved.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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