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Association for Values Education and Research
Toronto, OISE Press, 1991. 56pp, paper, $9.25
ISBN 0-7744-0367-5. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Thomas F. Chambers

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

This book is a series of articles and exercises about peace. It tries to show that words like peace and security are ambiguous and mean different things to different people. These differences depend on such things as whether or not you live in a first- or third-world country, have enough to eat, and have a fair share of the world's resources.

Some of the exercises are interesting and challenging. The authors clearly make their point that definitions of "peace" and "security" depend upon a person's cultural values. Unless undertaken in small doses, however, the exercises could become boring. So much time is spent dealing with the specific meaning of words that the ultimate goal of a better world is forgotten. Similar points could be achieved, probably with greater success, by using articles from daily newspapers.

While attempting to show how values influence our understanding of peace, the authors fall into the trap of making some dubious value judgements themselves. It is assumed, for example, that prosperity will bring an end to war. This conveniently ignores the fact that until 1945 the worst wars in this century were fought between the prosperous, industrialized nations. It also ignores the fact that as poor nations do become more prosperous, some of them engage in the manufacture and sale of arms. There is obviously more to war than the lack of prosperity and to suggest otherwise is dishonest.

Thomas F. Chambers, Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology, North Bay, Ont.

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