4 out of 4 stars
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A Dream for Peace is the autobiography of Dr. Ghoulem Berrah. The author was born in Algeria and was part of the rebel uprising hoping to free his country from French rule. He worked in many different capacities over the years, including as a medical doctor assisting freedom fighters and villagers in Morocco.
The author resided in the United States for many years, returning to school and enjoying success as a scientist. He was eventually offered the option of returning to Africa, where he felt that his skills could be put to the best use. Much of the book contains stories of Dr. Berrah’s time working as an ambassador for Côte d’Ivoire under their longtime president, Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
This is a most enlightening book presented in a straightforward fashion. I learned a great deal about the struggles of people in certain parts of Africa to be free of French colonialism. The various African nations also struggled with conflict among themselves and within their own borders.
I do believe that the book was professionally edited despite finding multiple minor errors in the text. I believe that these errors are a formatting problem rather than an editing issue and that they must have occurred when the manuscript was formatted for publication in electronic form. Almost every error involves the lack of a hyphen where there should be one. This did not detract from the readability of the book, and I am not going to count it against the content, which was both meaningful and educational.
I believe that this book could be a useful resource for helping students learn about the political history of certain African nations including Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia, and Morocco. The book also serves to educate readers on the necessary ideal of learning to disagree without becoming violently disagreeable, a phrase used by Dr. Martin Luther King following the assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X. Wherever possible, it is best to strive for mutual understanding. The author also espoused the ideals of religion being a bridge to peace rather than a force for division.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in twentieth-century history and politics, particularly as it applies to North Africa. It is an excellent choice for readers who truly wish to immerse themselves in detail. Although the book discusses violent events, it never goes into gratuitous detail. For those who prefer to avoid such, this book contains no profanity.
The book is not a good choice for younger readers or those who prefer a quick, easy-to-digest story due to the length and detail of its chapters. It took me the better part of a month to read it because I wanted to truly absorb everything that was being imparted.
I give A Dream for Peace four out of four stars. I feel it is a shame that Dr. Berrah passed away not long after he completed the manuscript. He was a decent and noble soul, and the world is a better place for his having been here.
A Dream For Peace
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