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Editor's Introduction

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The widespread movement of conscientious objection during the first twelve years of Soviet rule remains a topic almost unexplored by scholars. Yet it is one of the most important themes in the history of pacifism before the nuclear age. Until near the end of the Communist era the few writers who broached the subject, e.g.. the hard party-liner F.M. Putintsev or the erudite sociologist of religion A.l. Klibanov, did so in an extremely tendentious fashion. With the collapse of Communism, the situation of course changed.

Books

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Our Human Rights: A Manual for Women's Human Rights Education is the first comprehensive training manual that addresses many aspects of women's human rights in an ´interactive format' which is suitable for many audiences, from school teachers, to advocates for women's rights, to general human rights groups.

Review

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Learning True Love: How I Learned and Practiced Social Change in Vietnam by Chan Khong, 258 pages, 1993, US $16 paperback. Parallax Press, P.O. Box 7355, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA.

reviewed by Shelley Anderson

News

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On the Move

The international feminist network Isis-WICCE (Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange) has moved from its office in Switzerland to Kampala, Uganda. The group's next exchange program between feminist action organizations, scheduled for early 1996, will focus on "Freeing Ourselves from Violence: Mechanisms for Change". The program will look how specific mechanisms for monitoring and ensuring accountability for women's human rights can be developed. Applications are due June 1, 1995.

"Death Without Weeping: Daily Life in Northeast Brazil" is the theme of the April 1994 The New Internationalist. Based on the book Death Without Weeping (600 pages, 1992, University of California Press) by anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes, the lives of slum women and their children in Brazil's poverty-stricken Northeast are shocking and moving by turns. The exploitation, by sugar cane plantations, is endless and gives rise both to desperation and resistance.

Hear My Testimony by María Teresa Tula (1994, 224 pages, $14).

This book is a memorial to Myrtle Solomon, a committed pacifist who inspired people by her example. It brings together her major writings, into each of which she succeeded in injecting a nugget of significance, of originality, of creative intelligence. Her interviews for oral histories give her a voice and reveal something of her personality even to those who did not know her. The tributes at her death, culled from numerous expressions of appreciation for her as a person and a leader, help explain why this book was seen as a suitable commemoration to a woman who engaged all her formidable energy in the cause of peace. The book primarily reflects Myrtle Solomon's work as chair of the War Resisters' International from 1975 to 1986.

Order a paper copy at WRI's webshop.

Narayan Desai

Narayan Desai has had a long experience with nonviolence -- his father was Gandhi's personal secretary, and Narayan was raised in Gandhi's ashram. Narayan lives at his own ashram, the Institute for Total Revolution, and at the time of conference was Chair of War Resisters' International. In his opening address to the Conference, he analysed four contemporary examples of Indian nonviolence.

I will talk about four recent cases of people's power and nonviolent action. Two can be considered successful, or at least immediate successes.

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