Published: July 4, 17
Publisher: Random House
Source: From NetGalley and publisher for review
A single book might not change the world. But this utterly original meditation on art and war might transform the way you see the world--and that makes all the difference.
"How to live in the face of so much suffering? What difference can one person make in this beautiful, imperfect, and imperiled world?"
Through a dazzling combination of memoir, history, reporting, visual culture, literature, and theology, Sarah Sentilles offers an impassioned defense of life lived by peace and principle. It is a literary collage with an urgent hope at its core: that art might offer tools for remaking the world.
In Draw Your Weapons, Sentilles tells the true stories of Howard, a conscientious objector during World War II, and Miles, a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib, and in the process she challenges conventional thinking about how war is waged, witnessed, and resisted. The pacifist and the soldier both create art in response to war: Howard builds a violin; Miles paints portraits of detainees. With echoes of Susan Sontag and Maggie Nelson, Sentilles investigates images of violence from the era of slavery to the drone age. In doing so, she wrestles with some of our most profound questions: What does it take to inspire compassion? What impact can one person have? How should we respond to violence when it feels like it can't be stopped?
Draw Your Weapons stirs and confronts, disturbs and illuminates. A single book might not change the world, but this lucid, radiant, and utterly original meditation on art and war might transform the way you see the world--and that makes all the difference.
I'm quite upset that this is my first official DNF of the year. I thought this one would be perfect for me. Taking on a different perspective than we usually see on violence and war and what we really want to change through these perspectives including those that believe in pacifism. I love seeing things you contemplate through new eyes and taking from a few artists that lived through different eras with their own perspective on violence in the world. I really just wanted a different perspective than I would have considered before. I wanted some food for thought with people who do not glorify violence and some who see it as a springboard for creation despite the destruction. Now this sounds like I've already put this book up for failure with my expectations but I would have been satisfied with a good tale even if I had heard it all before.
Unfortunately, I could not get into how she wrote the book. Sort of like a stream of consciousness that felt a bit like a diary from many perspectives. It just flitted from one POV to another. Even if they were connected I wanted a bit more grounding before I take off into the stratosphere and I didn't get very far before I put it aside. I can sometimes make myself try to get used to the author's intended format but I think with so much going on right now I just didn't have the patience.
If you still feel like this is something you would enjoy, I say go for it. Perhaps the format that doesn't fit me will fit perfectly with you.