Trim: 6⅜ x 9¼
978-1-4985-0219-1 • Hardback • April 2015 • $115.00 • (£88.00)
978-1-4985-0221-4 • Paperback • April 2017 • $51.99 • (£40.00)
978-1-4985-0220-7 • eBook • April 2015 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Domenico Losurdo is emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Urbino.
Introduction: From the Broken Promises of Perpetual Peace to Non-Violence
1. Christian Abolitionism and Pacifism in the USA
2. From Pacifist Abolitionism to Gandhi and Tolstoy
3. Gandhi and the Socialist Movement: Violence as Discrimination?
4. The Anti-Colonialist Movement, Lenin’s Party, and Gandhi’s Party
5. Non-Violence in the Face of Fascism and the Second World War
6. Martin Luther King as the “Black Gandhi” and Afro-American Radicalism
7. Gandhi’s Global Reputation and the Construction of the Non-Violent Pantheon
8. From Gandhi to the Dalai Lama?
9. “Non-Violence," the “Color Revolutions," and the Great Game
10. A Realistic Non-Violence in a World Prey to Nuclear Catastrophe
If the characteristic feature of the critical thinking is the questioning of the mythologies that affect the current opinions, the recent book of Domenico Losurdo is an excellent example of this school of thought. Now Losurdo engages in the deconstruction, never prejudicially hostile but rather full of genuine sympathy for the essential core, of non-violence. In order to achieve this goal he delivers a detailed history of the pacifist and non-violent theories and practices, starting with Kant's idea of perpetual peace and the with the first pacifist movements in the USA of the nineteenth century. An important and timely book in a period of increasing danger of war!
— Gianni Vattimo, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Turin
Domenico Losurdo is among Europe's most distinguished intellectual historians. Reading his books has become a necessity for contemporary philosophers, sociologists, and political scientists. This is particularly true for this new book. Here we are not simply told the history of the great struggles and great tragedies of the movement of non-violence but also the history of the manipulations of all those who proclaimed and proclaim non-violence, while unleashing wars and organizing bloody coups d'état.
— Santiago Zabala, ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the Pompeu Fabra University and author of 'Why Only Art can Save Us' and 'Being at Large'
In attempting to make nonviolence into a myth, the Italian philosopher Losurdo examines several theorists and practitioners of nonviolence from early Quakers and Martin Luther King Jr. in the US to Chinese demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. In the several cases he examines, the author finds that nonviolence rhetoric invariably occurs alongside some, and often considerable, violence . . . Presenting several cases in which Gandhi endorsed violence, such as his support for Britain in WW I, the author portrays Gandhi’s nonviolence as a sham. The Dalai Lama also emerges as an endorser of both nonviolence and violence . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Research collections.
— Choice Reviews
Even the noblest aspirations are not exempt from being co-opted and manipulated. By unveiling the contradictions, tragedies and betrayals of the movements of non-violence, to the point where they were transformed into an instrument of ‘humanitarian’ warfare, Losurdo renders a great service to the self-critical awareness of today's peace and social justice activists.
— Jan Rehmann, Visiting Professor for Critical Theory and Social Analysis, Union Theological Seminary
In his brilliant dialectical analysis Domenico Losurdo weighs the political and ideological contradictions and dilemmas which historically arose when the idealized principles of non-violence were tested in the reality of a world situation marked by colonization, exploitation, and confrontation. The author also questions the popular grand narrative which claims that universal Western style democracy will lead to universal peace. Instead, he argues powerfully and convincingly for equality among nations and the democratization of international relations.
— Jürgen Pelzer, Occidental College