The Art of InterGroup Peace | Commentary and Reviews

Books

The Art of InterGroup Peace

“In the almost 240 year history of the United States there have been few, if any, times when the need for a book like George Halvorson's The Art of Intergroup Peace was greater than it is today. Intergroup stresses have reached the boiling point in America and in virtually every corner of the globe. In his Introduction - The Art of InterGroup Peace, the author mentions that there are more than 200 ongoing ethnic conflicts in the world where people are harming each other based on purely intergroup conflicts. What is essentially the banner statement of the book appears as its first sentence ... "We need to be skilled at creating Peace" and the following seventeen chapters offer an easy to read and logical set of concepts, facts and guidelines ostensibly directed at helping readers to develop some of those skills. The author addresses in simple and convincing terms the matter of our growing diversity and underscores that we need to gain the skills and perspectives that will make that diversity a core strength, and not an uncontrollable risk.

In a very real sense, The Art of Intergroup Peace may be looked upon as a primer for rational, objective and constructive behavior directed to improve balance in the "Us" versus "Them" interface that gravely threatens our contemporary world. And as any good primer, the book provides an operational guidance in a chapter onBasic Organizational Models for Intergroup Interactions. The author offers and explains eight separate functional approaches on The Art of Peace continuum, each of which can be used to accomplish a certain degree and type of dynamic intergroup interaction. The continuum encompasses interactive behavioral elements and agreements ranging from the unaligned and potentially conflicted to an integrated level with productive intergroup assimilation. In this section, the author skillfully and in a disarmingly logical manner incorporates basic psychology and sociology of group behavior into the construction of a meaningful operational tool. Notwithstanding, as an obviously practical and objective author, he cites that each category of intergroup interaction in this operational continuum has its own risks and problems.

In this valuable and unique book, Halvorson has again successfully applied his 'down and dirty' user-friendly writing style to a challenging and volatile subject and the take away message is resoundingly clear ... that knowledge and adaptation of our "Us/Them" instincts can make it possible to attain peace. The instincts that the author discusses are indeed unlimited in their power and when those instincts are used collectively as a tool, they can offer us great help and broad protection, even in this tragically conflicted present day world. This book should be of significant value to readers from the teenage years up to advanced age,” —

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:

<<Building the Culture of an Organization in Ten Basic Steps>>