Peace In Our Time | Commentary and Reviews

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Peace In Our Time

“In the tradition of many other great thinkers, the author, George Halvorson grew up in a small town in rural America where he was a keen observer of the social divisions in his community. Peace In Our Time describes the author's remarkable multi-decade and worldwide journey toward a recognition of the basic structure of racial, ethnic and gender divisions within cities, neighborhoods, in the workplace and at other levels of social organization. His writings portray a genuine love for and appreciation of diversity. The reader is unlikely to dispute that Halvorson's own personal degree of self-recognition has been vastly heightened by his myriad observations on intergroup divisions between and among numerous people throughout the world.

In this book, he frankly addresses the topic of instincts as they relate to both intergroup harmony or its absence. He draws upon his lifelong exposure to social separations based on what he describes as an "Us" versus "Them" dynamic. The author relates his experiences in Jamaica, Uganda, Russia and other venues, which drive him to the recognition that the same patterns of instinctive behaviors exist everywhere. He explains in clear and simple terms the benefits of adjusting the "Us" to "Them" imbalance by reaching out to "Them" without guilt, confusion or self-annoyance. And he highlights the continuing value of a simple but crucial tactic of reaching out to others on a person-to-person basis, an approach he learned when he was starting a health plan in Jamaica.

In Peace in Our Time, George Halvorson colorfully recounts his lifelong odyssey of understanding fundamental aspects of intergroup behavior and their consequences. He has worked in an impressive set of professional positions for more than 40 years and has displayed a resolutely unwavering commitment to establishing and nurturing diversity in those settings, typically with strong positive results. As he states, "I now believe, as a consequence of that entire learning process, that we can, in fact, achieve Peace in our time, in all of the settings that make up America. I also believe that we can achieve Peace in our time as a nation and as a people who are aligned and united by our core beliefs."  

The discussion in Chapter 7 on the six basic alignment triggers that greatly facilitate the achievement of collective goals and shared objectives is particularly interesting, drawing on concepts the author learned and applied from sources as diverse and historic as Sun Tzu and Dr. Abraham Maslow. The chapters on discrimination against women and the noteworthy contributions of women in business and society are particularly good. The author's direct observations on the dysfunctional approach towards women in multiple countries propelled him to seek an understanding of the bases for such inequity and to implement what he learned to lessen or in some instances eradicate those unhealthy practices.

Peace In Our Timeis a captivating reflection of an important part of the life of a gifted thinker, world-class business professional and humanitarian. Its messages are expressed with clarity and logic. This book deserves to be a part of the library of any reader who believes in human social harmony, irrespective of setting,” —

Randolph Steer — M.D., Ph.D., writer, business leader, health care executive, and fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology

 

“George Halvorson’s new and impressive body of work brings his considerable intellect and experience to bear on the big questions of our age: war and peace; social and economic division, tribalism and separatism, compassion and cruelty. Drawing on a deep understanding of contemporary research in the social and behavioral sciences, Halvorson weaves together the patterns that explain why our tribalism is deeply rooted in human psychology and group dynamics. He connects the dots at the individual, group, tribe, and societal level to explain so much of what we are witnessing in our politics, economic, and world affairs. Beyond diagnosis he advocates for treatment, by understanding the root cause of our individual and collective behaviors and confronting the evil with the good that is within us. It is a prescription for peace and harmony, over conflict and division. We should learn and apply his teachings as a society and as individuals." —

Ian Morrison — Author, "The Second Curve: Managing the Velocity of Change”

 

Please click the link below to view George C. Halvorson's speech at The Chancellor's Health Policy Lecture Series:

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