These searing images and moving essays teach us much about the lessons of history, the costs of war, and the overlooked challenges of achieving lasting peace. The honesty and introspection of the contributors also reminds us that the gaps that exist between peoples can be bridged; wounds can be healed; hatreds can be dissolved; and the once unthinkable can become reality — if there is a willingness to pursue dialogue and embrace our common humanity. Imagine: Reflections on Peace is a timely and important call to action.
Madeleine K. Albright
Former US Secretary of State
Powerful, persuasive and forensic, this book will open your eyes, challenge your assumptions, and deepen your understanding of war and the people who survive it. It shows that war doesn’t end with the signing of a peace treaty, or when a situation has faded from the news headlines. At a time when more people are displaced by war and oppression today than at any period since the Second World War, this calls for a new generation of negotiators to step forward. Above all, it is a tribute to the victims of war, and to all those who never give up the struggle to achieve stability, justice and good governance in their countries.
UNHCR Special Envoy
This magnificent collection of photography and narrative gives us a moving, searing portrayal of war-torn places in the aftermath of violence. Renowned photojournalists and writers return to the scene of brutal conflicts to document people’s inspiring attempts to rebuild their lives and to imagine what peace really means. The result is a stirring meditation on peace as an unfinished project, precariously poised between memory and forgiveness.
Michael J. Sandel
political philosopher, Harvard University, Author of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
I found this book powerful in its evocation of the great suffering of the last half-century’s wars, wise in recognizing that their painful legacy long endures, and inspiring in showing reconciliation in action. Most moving to me: seeing those who negotiated South Africa’s transition to democracy help bring Northern Ireland’s warring factions to the bargaining table. Peace, like war, can be contagious.
Author of King Leopold’s Ghost and To End All Wars
The story of war’s aftermath is ancient: the bleeding stops, the spotlight points elsewhere, the ruins are left in darkness. It is the genius of the editors of Imagine: Reflections on Peace to recognize that only after the guns grow silent does the true story begin: of how human beings reconstruct their lives, of how murderers become neighbors, of how justice returns — or doesn’t. For anyone who has consumed narratives of war and violence, who has gazed into the whirlpools of history and violence, who craves beautiful writing and life-changing images, Imagine is an essential book.
Author of Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War