ISSN 1522-211X O J P C R

The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution








OJPCR: The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution is a resource for students, teachers and practitioners in fields relating to the reduction and elimination of destructive conflict. It is a free, yet valuable, source of information to aid anyone trying to work toward a less violent and more cooperative world.

Issue 5.1


From Peacekeeping to Peacebuilding

From Violence to Peace: Terrorism and Human Rights in Sri Lanka

Personal Empowerment as the Missing Ingredient for a Resolution of the Israel/Palestine Conflict

Creating a More Peaceful Classroom Community by Assessing Student Participation and Process


To Protect Democracy (Not Practice It): Explanations of Dyadic Democratic Intervention (DDI)

Why did the Colombia Peace Process Fail?

Truth and Reconciliation: The Road Not Taken in Namibia

Africa Crisis Response Initiative: Its Workability as a Framework for Conflict Prevention and Resolution

Culture, Gender, Power and Conflict in Melanie Thernstrom's Halfway Heaven: Diary of a Harvard Murder

Kant's Perpetual Peace: A New Look at this Centuries-Old Quest

An Analysis of Bloody Sunday

The Jewish Group: Highlighting the Culture Problem in Nation-States

How Can I Teach Peace When the Book Only Covers War?

Cooperation in Pluralistic Societies: An Analytic Mathematical Approach


Publications of Interest


Conflict Resolution | Ethnic Conflict | History | International Relations/Diplomacy | Reconciliation | General


Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953
By Arnold A. Offner. 2002.
Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press. Harback $37.95.

Few of the books we see at OJPCR are good guides about how to exacerbate conflict, but Arnold Offner's contrarian analysis is just that. This well-written and extensively researched book argues that Truman's lack of both experience and vision led to poor decision making and likely increased the intensity of the Cold War. He argues that the actions of Stalin and Mao cannot be evaluated without considering the extent to which Truman influenced them and the Truman's parochial and nationalistic worldview increased, rather than decreased, the dangers during his presidency.
Current critics of contemporary American foreign policy will be especially interested in Offner's description of how Truman's views "caused him to disregard contrary views, to engage in simplistic analogizing, to show little ability to comprehend the basis for other nations' policies, and to demonize those leaders or nations who would not bend to the will of the U.S."

The Lotus Unleashed: The Buddhist Peace Movement in South Vietnam, 1964-1966
By Robert J. Topmiller. 2002.
Lexington, KY, University Press of Kentucky. 214 pp with index. Cloth $35.00.

There are many books examining many aspects of the peace movement in the US during the Vietnam war, but we have seen little about indigenous efforts to stop the conflict. Robert Topmiller addresses this in his examination of the Buddhist Movement from 1964 until the Buddhist Crisis in 1966.
During this period, activists in the Buddhist Movement attempted to create a democratic government in Saigon that incorporated the will of the Vietnamese people and the political desires of both the existent government and the National Liberation Front. This movement successfully overthrew a succession of American-backed governments in Saigon, and Topmiller raises the possibility that its support indicates that a majority of South Vietnamese may have opposed American involvement in the conflict.
The Lotus Unleashed makes an already complex conflict more so, but in doing so it also suggests greater opportunities at peacemaking in future conflicts.

Cold War Endgame : Oral History, Analysis, Debates
Edited by William C. Wohlforth. 2003.
University Park, Pa., Pennsylvania State University Press. 346 pp with index. Hardback $60.00, paperback $25.00

In 1996, Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University held a conference of nine high-level officials from the American and Soviet governments at the time of the end of the Cold War (1989-1991). This conference was led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former foreign minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh and provided a forum for these officials to discuss their experiences in that tumultuous foreign-policy era. The first four chapters of Cold War Endgame are verbatim transcripts of sessions at the conference. These are followed by two providing analysis of the end of the Cold War and three covering debates about the events.
It is rare to have a volume that integrates pure primary sources along with scholarly analysis, and much of the pleasure in Cold War Engame comes from jumping between the participant's discussions and the analysis that follows. Much more will be written about this period of foreign policy history, but it is likely that Cold War Endgame will provide the foundation for these works.

Cultural Exchange & The Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain
By Yale Richmond. 2003.
University Park, Pennsylvania State University Press. 250 pp with index. Cloth $35.00.

Based on both his own experiences in the foreign service and interviews with participants, Yale Richmond documents the experience and impact of the approximately 50,000 Soviets who came to the US in cultural exchange programs between 1958 and 1988. Richmond proposes that the fall of the Soviet Union was the result of a revolution of ideas which itself rose from the cultural exchange programs after the death of Stalin. Richmond's insider's insights add flavor to the book and make a compelling argument for the success of the US policy to encourage the "Westernization" of the Soviet Union instead of direct confrontation.

America Attacks Japan: The Invasion that Never Was
By Tim Maga. 2002.
Lexington, Ky., University Press of Kentucky. 194 pp with index. Cloth $25.00

Tim Maga worked with sources in both the U.S. and Japan to develop this comprehensive examination of a military campaign that never happened. The morality and pragmatic value of using atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been debated since 1945, but no scholar has comprehensively analyzed the likely plans for an invasion of Japan by US forces. In lieu of this, the discussion about the end of World War II has relied largely on supposition from the time.
Maga remedies this by producing a very compelling description of both Allied attack plans and likely Japanese responses, based both on documents from the National Archives and the Douglas McArthur Archives and interviews with military planners in the US and Japan. Along with covering the military option, Maga discusses alternatives, from diplomacy and economic coercion to assassination.
While Maga's book is relevant to the atom bomb debate, it stretches far beyond the comparison of plans and the calculation of casualties. He also makes a strong effort to present the story of the end of the war from a variety or perspectives and, in the end, add much complexity to a decision and sequence that has been viewed too simplistically.

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The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution is published by the Tabula Rasa Institute.

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