As Eve Ensler says in her inspired foreword to this book, Jody Williams is many thingsa simple girl from Vermont, a sister of a disabled brother, a loving wife, an intense character full of fury and mischief, a great strategist, an excellent organizer, a brave and relentless advocate, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But to me Jody Williams is, first and foremost, an activist.”
From her modest beginnings to becoming the tenth womanand third American womanto receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Jody Williams takes the reader through the ups and downs of her tumultuous and remarkable life. In a voice that is at once candid, straightforward, and intimate, Williams describes her Catholic roots, her first step on a long road to standing up to bullies with the defense of her deaf brother Stephen, her transformation from good girl to college hippie at the University of Vermont, and her protest of the war in Vietnam. She relates how, in 1981, she began her lifelong dedication to global activism as she battled to stop the U.S.-backed war in El Salvador.
Throughout the memoir, Williams underlines her belief that an average woman”through perseverance, courage and imaginationcan make something extraordinary happen. She tells how, when asked if she’d start a campaign to ban and clear anti-personnel mines, she took up the challenge, and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was born. Her engrossing account of the genesis and evolution of the campaign, culminating in 1997 with the Nobel Peace Prize, vividly demonstrates how one woman’s commitment to freedom, self-determination, and human rights can have a profound impact on people all over the globe.