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The Compassionate Revolution: Radical Politics and Buddhism Paperback – 1 Jan 1990


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books (1 Jan. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1870098706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1870098700
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 583,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

David Edwards brings both incisive thought and humanity to all his work. John Pilger

About the Author

David Edwards is a political writer who specialises in the analysis of the corporate media. His other books include Free to be Human and Guardians of Power (with David Cromwell).

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book provides a most readable and insightful critique of the present neo-liberal consensus. The author deals with the issues with intelligence and compassion. By bring together the insights of those such as Noam Chomsky, as well as those of Buddhist philosophy and psychology, compassion is felt not only for the victims of the present world order, but also for those responsible - for what state of mind must our rulers be in for them to feel indiferent to the sufferings of their fellow citizens? It's a refreshing change to see someone involved in radical politics to aknowledge that it is hatred and ignorance others' suffering that is the root of today's problems, for all too often, even the most sincere radicals have accepted hatred and suffering so long as it is directed towards their enemies. The result being that the cycle of suffering is maintained, no progress is made and even the most delicious dreams of how society could be like, turns sour.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dave Watton on 26 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
If, like this particular reviewer, you grew up in the West and have come to take for granted a competitive capitalist culture where the mantra of 'survival of the fittest' reigns supreme, David Edwards' insightful synthesis of radical political dissent and Eastern philosophy may come as something of a revelation.

Edwards wastes little time in casting seeds of doubt on the vain pursuit of personal wealth and happiness at the expense of others as practised in Western culture, condemning the "institutionalised subordination of people and planet to corporate profit" and "an economic system reducing humans and animals to the status of industrial fodder". Here the author summarizes the now-familiar critique of the global justice movement: the demolition of democracy epitomized by the corporate takeover of the planet. Edwards ties in this analysis with a razor-sharp dissection of the myths of press freedom, elegantly distilling the extensive writing of such outstanding dissidents and modern historians as Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Howard Zinn, John Pilger and Mark Curtis into a very clear and readable summary.

The true power of Edwards' message, however, lies in his detailed analysis of the underlying malaise of a capitalist system that relies on the unholy trinity of greed, hatred and ignorance in order to prevail: the greed for profit at any cost, the hatred and demonizing of anyone or anything that stands in the way of that profit, and the widespread ignorance of the truly dreadful effects of Western corporate 'business as usual' on people and planet. More powerful still is the convincing case Edwards makes for applying Buddhist teachings to the ills of our times: "the antidote is awareness [as opposed to ignorance] rooted in compassion...
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By david.cromwell@soc.soton.ac.uk on 19 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
So, what *does* Buddhism have to do with radical politics? According to David Edwards the answer is "everything". The roots of Buddhism lie in compassion, and it is compassion - not anger - that empowers activists and dissidents, whether they be environmentalists, human rights campaigners, or anyone else concerned about social and ecological justice. At present, argues Edwards, "Our capacity for compassion is hobbled, vestigial, a fact that explains our failure to generate effective resistance to the forces of greed and hatred currently laying waste to our planet."
Simply put, compassion is the root of all successful dissent. Compassion - not anger, facts, action or even protest - should be central to the effective struggle for freedom and democracy.
David Edwards has written an inspiring, incisive and essential work that deserves a wide readership.
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