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Bone to Pick

Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation, and Revenge

About The Book

In a world riven by conflict, reconciliation is not always possible -- but it offers one of the few paths to peace for a troubled nation or a troubled soul. In Bone to Pick, bestselling author and Newsweek editor Ellis Cose offers a provocative and wide-ranging discussion of the power of reconciliation, the efficacy of revenge, and the possibility of forgiveness.
People increasingly are searching for ways to put the demons of the past to rest. That search has led parents to seek out the murderers of their children and torture victims to confront their former tormentors. In a narrative drawing on the personal and dramatic stories of people from Texas to East Timor, Cose explores the limits and the promise of those encounters.
Bone to Pick is not only the story of victims who have found peace through confronting the source of their pain; it is also a profound meditation on how the past shapes the present, and how history's wounds, left unattended, can fester for generations. Time does not heal all, Cose points out. Memories and anger can linger long beyond a human lifespan. The descendants of Holocaust survivors and African slaves alike feel the effects of their forebears' pain -- and in some cases are still demanding restitution.
What is behind the movement for reparations? Why are truth-and-reconciliation commissions sprouting all over the world? Why are old wars being refought and old wounds being reopened? In Bone to Pick, Ellis Cose provides a moving and nuanced guide to such questions as he points the way toward a more harmonious world.

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Ellis Cose is the author of the bestselling The Envy of the World, Color-Blind, and The Rage of a Privileged Class, as well as Democracy, If We Can Keep It and The Short Life & Curious Death of Free Speech in America. He is a columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. He has appeared on Nightline, Dateline, Good Morning America, PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, and other national television and radio programs. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Pocket Books (April 6, 2004)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743488846

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Raves and Reviews

Peter D. Bell President and CEO of CARE USA Ellis Cose explores complex, painful, yet crucial issues of historical memory. Without succumbing to easy answers, he seeks resolutions that will break us free from the shackles of hate, fear and shame. Cose points toward a more just and harmonious world.

James Hoge Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine Atrocities by individuals and by states occur with dismaying frequency, leaving in their wake abiding memories of wounds that cripple lives and whole societies. How to disarm those memories and thereby find peace and, where possible, reconciliation is the moving theme of this powerful and insightful study of man's inhumanity to man.

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Bone to Pick provides an eloquent and engaging analysis of the process of forgiveness and reconciliation that is central to the human experience. Cose analyzes Jim Crow racism, apartheid, sexual abuse, the caste system, and genocide -- drawing conclusions about hurt, forgiveness, revenge, and reconciliation that are as relevant for individuals as for entire societies. The well-researched and poignant examples elucidate how our past is intimately connected to our future, and Cose pays tribute to the indefatigable perseverance of the human spirit.

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