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BOOKS

Waging Peace

Reflections on Peace and War From an Unconventional Woman

Anne Deveson

RRP: £12.99

3 October 2013

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781743310038

Looking back on a long and active life, Anne Deveson draws on a rich vein of public and private experiences to reflect on what made her the bold social commentator she became. Central among her lifelong preoccupations have been the questioning of war, and the promotion of peace.

Deveson tells of her childhood blown apart by the Second World War – in bombed Britain, then invaded Malaya and finally as a refugee in Australia in 1942. She also writes of returning to Europe to see the heavy shadow of war there, and its effect on her own family; of reading de Beauvoir; hitchhiking; love; and deciding to be a journalist. Returning to Australia, she built a career (unusual in the 1960s for a young mother) as a provocative commentator on issues of social justice and equality, and as a member of the path-breaking and controversial Commission into Human Rights she argued passionately for the disadvantaged.

We also share with her, through dramatic filming experiences in Africa, horror at the traumas of conflict and the need to understand its resolution. We share her insight into human yearning for peaceful space in which ordinary family life may be lived – often taken for granted, too often lost.

Deveson’s unique voice, her humour and humility shine through this memoir of experiences and ideas. She argues persuasively, and hopefully, that, were we to wage peace with all the resources and vigour that we wage war, we could win peace, and keep it.