The Palace of Crystal: A world without war

Harry Davis. Arena Books.  248 pages. £20.99  ISBN 978-0-9556055-0-5

Book review by Noel Hamel

Harry Davis, editor of Kingston Peace News, has been mulling over what precipitates unwilling populations into war when it is clear that an overwhelming majority of us want to get on with our lives peacefully.

Looking at historical example first, whereby it was thought brave, heroic, even virtuous to fight for territory, wealth conquest and honour, he moves on to modern examples in the context of much more complicated views about justice, fairness, and ethical behaviour.

We still seem mesmerised by leaders, heroes even, in whom we instinctively place our trust.  Many who have ascended the ladder of leadership have proved to be flawed personalities, yet our ‘democratic’ systems  have time and again been found wanting when the flaws mutate into violence, repression, slaughter and war.

Dostoevsky invented the concept of a ‘Palace of Crystal’, a world in which people could live in peace, harmony, and respect without the clouds of aggression, violence and war hanging over us.  Harry’s sights are set on the ideals of the New World, North America, where reality has fallen very far short.  His idea is that we should work towards achieving those ideals and he makes suggestions for improving democratic structures so they may truly become ‘government of the people by the people’  - not toys in the hands of individuals who want to manipulate situations and pursue their own agendas; often seeming to view with arrogant disdain, and in some cases as disposable commodities in their grand plan, those that they are supposedly in power to cherish and care for.

Noel Hamel

[Harry Davis adds:   KPN readers are about the last persons in this world who need a book on how to abolish war.  The author has some copies which can be obtained direct from him, email, or by writing to 49 Speer Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0PJ, for £5.00, plus £1 post and packaging, for those sufficiently curious to see what he has made of this greatest of problems.]