The Best Books page of this website describes engaging best-sellers about peaceful societies—works that provide excellent introductions to the field. These books, appropriate for both adult and student audiences, should fascinate anyone who strives for peace and is intrigued by the idea that these societies really exist.
But the literature is far richer than just that small sampling of “best books.” The anthropologists and sociologists who have immersed themselves in the study of these peoples have published many scores of other books about “their” societies. Scanning and reproducing for this Archive those book-length works would, at this point, be far beyond the scope of the website. Most them are easily available, either in print or out-of-print, through book dealers such as the merchants who participate with Amazon.com, booksellers whose listings are included in Bookfinder.com, and, in some communities, local book stores. Many of these books can also be borrowed from local libraries or obtained through interlibrary loan.
A lot of excellent research about the peaceful societies also appears in articles by those anthropologists and sociologists that are published in journals and books that include chapters by different scholars. Those articles may be harder to locate for people who do not have easy access to major research libraries. Since those articles form an essential part of the literature on peaceful societies, making them more easily available is one of the major goals of this website.
This week we begin a new phase in the growth of the website by launching the Archive of Articles on Peaceful Societies with four scholarly articles in PDF format. Plans for the Archive include a wide range of articles about as many of the peaceful societies represented in the “Encyclopedia of Selected Peaceful Societies” as we can obtain. We also intend to include scholarship on the broader processes of peace building and peacefulness that include perspectives from the literature about the peaceful societies.
In order to provide breadth to the Archive, we hope to include the works of as many different scholars as possible. In addition, we will strive to include articles on several themes related to the peaceful societies, such as approaches to conflict resolution, strategies for raising children nonviolently, issues related to gender relations, and so on.
The four articles inaugurated today are just a beginning. Several more may be made available in the website in a few weeks, as soon as they can be scanned, and others will follow as soon as permissions to reproduce them can be obtained. Articles can only be scanned and put into the website with the approval of their authors (or their literary agents or executors) and the copyright holders. Fortunately, a number of scholars and copyright holders have responded generously to our appeals in recent months about the importance of these works and the need to make them widely available.
All of the articles merit careful reading, thoughtful study, and serious reflection. We welcome feedback about these articles via the “Contact Us” link in the website. Additions will be announced on the News and Reviews page.