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Mighty be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War

Mighty be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Leymah Gbowee, With Carol Mithers

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  • Publisher: Beast Books
  • Format: Paperback | 260 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 20mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 11 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0984295194
  • ISBN 13: 9780984295197
  • Edition statement: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 67,367

Product description

WINNER OF THE 2011 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE In a time of death and terror, Leymah Gbowee brought Liberia's women together-and together they led a nation to peace. As a young woman, Leymah Gbowee was broken by the Liberian civil war, a brutal conflict that tore apart her life and claimed the lives of countless relatives and friends. Years of fighting destroyed her country-and shattered Gbowee's girlhood hopes and dreams. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, propelled by her realization that it is women who suffer most during conflicts-and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. In 2003, the passionate and charismatic Gbowee helped organize and then led the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women who sat in public protest, confronting Liberia's ruthless president and rebel warlords, and even held a sex strike. With an army of women, Gbowee helped lead her nation to peace-in the process emerging as an international leader who changed history. Mighty Be Our Powers is the gripping chronicle of a journey from hopelessness to empowerment that will touch all who dream of a better world.

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Author information

Leymah Gbowee is the winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. She is also the "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast"'s Africa columnist. As war ravaged Liberia, Leymah Gbowee realized it is women who bear the greatest burden in prolonged conflicts. She began organizing Christian and Muslim women to demonstrate together, founding Liberian Mass Action for Peace and launching protests and a sex strike. Gbowee's part in helping to oust Charles Taylor was featured in the documentary "Pray the Devil Back to Hell." Gbowee is a single mother of six, including one adopted daughter, and is based in Accra, Ghana, where she is the cofounder and executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network-Africa.Carol Mithers is a Los Angeles-based journalist and book author. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of national publications.

Customer reviews

By Kimberly Roy 18 Jan 2013 5

I'll be honest with you, while I had heard of the African nation of Liberia prior to my picking up Mighty Be Our Powers I didn't know too much about the country and I had no idea that it had suffered a brutal civil war that waged on and off for about two decades. However, by the time I finished this remarkable read by Leymah Gbowee about her experienced during that turbulent time in her country's history.

In this powerful memoir Leymah describes her life before, during and after the war in Liberia. The account starts off not long before the war started when she was just a teenager starting college in the 1990's. She describes the care free life she lived before she moves on to retracing her life from after the war started and her life changed dramatically.

At 19 years of age Leymah found herself pregnant and in an abusive relationship with an older man that was taking advantage of her youth and her naivete. Battling feelings of hopelessness and loneliness she takes the first step to better her life for herself and her little ones by leaving their father and moving home where after some time she begins the rough journey of piecing her life back together again.

Leymah Gbowee's memoir is an inspiring read. Amidst a brutal civil war with many cards stacked against her she rises above many adversities to become a woman who leads others like her in the fight against poverty, rape and most of all the fight to bring international attention to the fact that women and children are often the ones who suffer most in times of war.

I learned a lot about the country of Liberia and about this one woman's experience during the civil war that struck her homeland. The writing of this memoir was easy to read, she told her story like it happened and didn't once make her role in various organizations seem like she was the most important person. There was not one ounce of vanity in her depictions which I truly appreciated. I loved the fact that while she focused on her role as a leader that she is just one of many who are making strides to better the lives of her fellow Liberians and that they not she, are the unspoken heroes of the war.

This book definitely sparked an interest in me to learn more about the people. culture and history of Liberia as well as the politics in the country. It also has me interested in checking out some of the NGO's that are in the country that are working to re-establish it's infrastructure and better the lives of the people.

I highly recommend this memoir to anyone wanting to learn some amazingly hard life lessons from a woman who thought that she wasn't good enough to raise her own children to leading thousands of women. It's an inspirational read and while she does talk about her faith in the book she only does it in passing and doesn't force her religious beliefs upon the reader which is another thing that I liked about reading her memoir. If you want to learn a little bit and broaden your horizons I suggest you check this one out and it is one of the best memoirs I've ever read.

Review quote

"Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women"."..a beautifully written narrative.""Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1984"""Mighty Be Our Powers "reminds us that even in the worst of times, humanity's best can shine through." "Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook: ""One of the most inspirational and powerful books I've ever read. The story of one woman's struggle against the worst and what she can teach all of us about finding the courage and strength to change the world." "Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III Pastor, The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York: ""An engrossing, fluently written story that anyone who cares about changing the world has to read." "Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 2011: ""Leymah bore witness to the worst of humanity and helped bring Liberia out of the dark. Her memoir is a captivating narrative that will stand in history as testament to the power of women, faith and the spirit of our great country" STARRED" Kirkus Review: ""Searing war-torn memories from a visionary African peacekeeper and women's-rights activist....Gbowee stands responsible for what began as a tireless vocal demonstration and soon escalated to a standoff on the Presidential Mansion steps demanding peace. This course of action facilitated the war's end in 2003 and the election of Africa's first female president, and ended the author's personal struggles with alcohol. With commanding charity, Gbowee celebrates Liberia's eight years of peace and continues teaching young women about the power of activism. A patriotic chronicle reverberant with valor and perseverance."