We Can Change the World

Tales from a Generation's Quest for Peace and Justice

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
176 Pages
Reviewed on 04/11/2024
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Douglas L. Murray is Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, Colorado State University.
Dr. Murray is a two-time Fellow in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research and Writing Grant Program on Peace and International Cooperation and a J. William Fulbright Senior Research Scholar. He has published extensively on the dynamics of social change.
His new book, We Can Change the World, is written in a creative non-fiction tone intended to reach a broader and more diverse audience than his previous works produced for university presses and academic journals.
Over nearly four decades, he also served as an adviser, consultant, or project manager for a range of international development institutions, including the OECD/World Bank, the Danish Agency for International Development, CARE International, and the United States Agency for International Development, on issues of sustainability and socially equitable development.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Walpole for Readers' Favorite

We Can Change the World by Douglas L. Murray tells stories from the generation that came of age during the tumultuous '60s and '70s when protests against the Vietnam War and for civil rights filled the streets. Much like Tom Brokaw chronicled stories of the men and women of World War II and the Great Depression in The Greatest Generation, Murray describes the courageous and idealistic endeavors of many unknown or little-known leaders of causes and movements the world faced over the past 50 years. After Vietnam, student protesters became adult advocates for civil rights, workers’ rights, and women’s rights in America. Having rejected many of their parents’ values, they developed different perspectives on the many revolutions and human rights crises throughout the world, from Central America to South Africa and beyond.

Douglas L. Murray writes brilliantly and comprehensively about an idealistic and ambitious generation born of and influenced by an ideologically chaotic period of world history. I recommend this book to all baby boomers but also to those who came after. Reading We Can Change the World will help people understand the very important history of America’s ideological clashes and protest movements from the 1960s through to today. The narrative is well summarized in its subtitle, Tales from a Generation’s Quest for Peace and Justice. The individual stories of the many selfless and brave heroes of a generation will inspire you, encourage you to support just causes, and help you believe that change for the good is possible.

Frank Mutuma

We Can Change the World: Tales from a Generation's Quest for Peace and Justice by Douglas L. Murray captures not just his experiences but also some of the major social issues through the 1960s. His parents never went to church after they relocated, but they insisted on him attending the services. At the Methodist church in Napa, he was greatly influenced by Reverend Juvinall, who, after extensively traveling the world, was motivated by people like Mahatma Gandhi. Reverend Juvinall also believed in tolerance among the major religions and social change. Douglas wasn't drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, but he saw the damage it did to the young people of his generation. He becomes an activist, joins a commune, and later travels to Cuba and Nicaragua to get a better understanding of the revolutions there.

We Can Change the World is a wonderfully written book that motivates readers to consider various issues outside what is considered mainstream. It got me thinking about the true cost of war. For instance, in the Vietnam War and the revolutionary fights in South America, the greatest toll was on ordinary people just trying to live their lives, unlike what was reported in the media. Douglas L. Murray expertly captured other issues of the time, such as racism and what those who fought against it went through. Other things that were covered include the fight for civil rights and the feminist movements. An aspect that captured my attention was a person's ability to start over, explore, and experience whatever they want without perceived social constraints.

Essien Asian

In an increasingly divided world where minor variations in language, ideology, or skin tone can ignite wars that end up claiming hundreds of lives and leaving millions more hungry and homeless, would it not be wiser for humanity to set aside minor differences for the greater good? Based on the deeds of a select few, Douglas L. Murray thinks this is feasible and not just theoretical. His observations and documentation demonstrate that what some consider a pipe dream can come true with effort on both sides of the divide. We Can Change the World is a compilation of interactions between Murray and a few of these brave individuals as he details their heroic deeds.

Douglas L. Murray's account is masterfully compiled and meticulously recorded. It portrays not just a few well-known individuals who made a name for themselves by standing against the status quo but also ordinary, flawed individuals who chose to act morally because they believed in what was right at the risk of losing their lives, as was the case during his sojourn in Nicaragua. Although it seems at first that Murray has a personal connection to the people he writes about, he includes thoroughly well-researched historical flashpoints, which even the most doubtful of readers can use to verify the details of his stories. Including photos taken during his activities gives this compilation a unique personal touch. Murray's explanations are clear and concise, making it easy for readers to understand his perspective. However, one aspect of this outstanding collection that stands out is Murray's spirit of hope in each chapter of this exceptional work. Readers can learn a lot from Murray's We Can Change The World.

Katherine Yih

I was blown away by the moral and almost spiritual significance and beauty of We Can Change the World. Dr. Murray has recorded deeply affecting stories from the remarkable period of history our generation lived through and influenced. In some, he brings to light the courage of modest, largely unknown people who’ve made major sacrifices for their principles and for humanity. Some are so full of sensory detail that you almost feel you were there. The description of his quest for the paper nautilus at the end is just lovely, rising to the level of a parable. I am ordering more copies of the book to give away to friends.