Bone to Pick: Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation, and Revenge

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Atria Books, 2004 - Family & Relationships - 212 pages
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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.

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Bone to pick: of forgiveness, reconciliation, reparation, and revenge

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We may be living in an age of apologies, but according to these two books, progressing to real forgiveness and reconciliation is a more complicated process. Daniels, a board-certified practitioner ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Ellis Cose is a columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek. He began his journalism career at nineteen as a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in New York City.

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