I had edited one of Paul’s previous books, Will War Ever End? and was already impressed with his thought as well as his feelings about waging peace instead of war, but Peaceful Revolution really puts all the layers on this beautiful painting of a life transformed from violence to a deep mission of world peace. I had the distinct honor of indexing Peaceful Revolution and it was one of the most inspiring books I’ve had to read for my work. Also, Paul is an extremely cogent and meticulous writer, which made the indexing process really fun. 🙂
Paul comes from a family life where his father, a Korean War and Vietnam War veteran, was plagued by nightmares from those experiences, and unfortunately transferred that violence onto his family when the nightmares consumed him. In addition to learning about how the violence of war can destroy the mind, Paul also lived with the challenge of growing up in Alabama part white, part black, part Korean. Although times have changed since his father’s time prior to the civil rights movement, social attitudes take many years to shift, so even though Paul is only in his 30s, he dealt with his share of prejudice and ridicule and the desire to hide his ethnic origins. His obsession with finding our underlying reasons for and a solution to war actually took him into one, in Iraq. After going to West Point, Paul deployed to Iraq and saw the impact of war first hand on both his army comrades and the civilian populace.
Peaceful Revolution is the latest in a series of books (preceded by Will War Ever End? and The End of War) that have developed Paul’s thought on the basic nature of humans (non-violent, actually), the reasons we get into wars, and the ways we can get out of the mentalities that lead us there. Paul’s mind is so clear and his reasoning so cogent that anyone who reads his story will be alternately moved by his personal journey and inspired to a) believe that humanity can be peaceful, and b) that it starts with all of us letting go of the mental contortions that lead to fear of the stranger and then hatred of that unknown.
And, OK, I also cried, and laughed, more than once. So, not only a great mission clearly outlined, but but a great story. And don’t be surprised if you end up being part of the new peace movement. The world is definitely going to be a better place with Paul K. Chappell in it. He deserves your serious attention.
Go get Peaceful Revolution.