French scholar Jacques Semelin has been working on the issues of violence and non-violent action for almost twenty years, and he’s found that most of the questions children ask about this subject deal with day-to-day life: If someone hassles me, what should I do? How do I deal with bullies at school? What if someone attacks me sexually? What about violent kids? Racism? Non-Violence Explained to My Children, following Semelin’s answers to his daughters’ nearly seventy questions, provides concrete responses to a myriad of conflict situations from an ethical and historical perspective. In a clear and accessible manner in conversational format, Semelin explains that non-violence is not passivity, but instead a way of being and a way of acting that seeks to resolve conflicts, fight injustice, and build lasting peace. He provides examples from the U.S. civil rights movement, Solidarity in Poland, and Tiananmen Square in China and the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi and others. Non-Violence Explained to My Children will be an invaluable aid to parents and adults who want to teach children to express themselves and deal with all types of conflict in a non-violent way.
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JACQUES SÉMELIN is a professor of political science in Paris, a former Harvard post-doctoral fellow, and a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research. He lives in Paris.Language Notes:
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