You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear

Frances Moore Lappe, Author, Jeffrey Perkins, Author
Frances Moore Lappe, Author, Jeffrey Perkins, Author Jeremy P. Tarcher $18.95 (227p) ISBN 978-1-58542-312-5
Reviewed on: 05/01/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Paperback - 227 pages - 978-1-58542-424-5
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-101-14368-1
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-101-14291-2
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Lappe popularized what she argued was the moral imperative of eating vegetarian in her 1971 classic, Diet for a Small Planet; Perkins co-founded the nonprofit Curious Minds, which helps youth identify and work towards a future vocation. Their idealistic treatise attempts to turn the constricting presence of fear into a""power to create the lives we want and the world we want."" According to Perkins and Lappe, fear is spread by politicians and media that encourage people to be frightened of other countries and cultures, and that magnify the danger of crime. The result, they argue, is an emotionally paralyzed population, immobilized against real global dangers. In order to take action against environmental degradation, hunger and species extinction, people must dare to act, they say, and overcome fear by leaping into the unknown with creative solutions. They cite numerous examples of those who have helped trigger change in themselves and the world by taking risks. A woman named Jane Stern, for example, faced down a lifelong phobia about illness by becoming a volunteer medical technician and helping others who were sick and dying. After reading a newspaper story about a murdered homeless Guatemalan boy, a Manhattan chef changed his life, despite initial terror, by going to Guatemala and establishing a program for inner-city children. Lappe shares the way she coped with her fears after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, while Perkins describes how he found the courage to tell his parents that he was gay. This a fine collection of engrossing and inspiring anecdotes rather than a how-to manual, by two people who obviously care about the world and its people.
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