Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SACRED ARE THE BRAVE: A Collection of Stories

‘Sacred Are the Brave’, a collection of short stories by author James D. Sanderson, consists of nine stories about various nonviolent revolutions that took place in 1986 (the People Power revolution in the Philippines) and others that took place in Eastern Europe in 1989. This is the second book to be released by this author – the first was ‘The Angelic Mysteries’ released in September 2011 - and it will be available on Kindle in March of 2012.

What happens when people stand up to cruel men with weapons using nothing more than their bare hands and their hope for a different future? That is exactly what happened in
1989 when fully one third of the world’s population was involved in nonviolent
struggle in one form or another. From the Philippines (earlier, in 1986) through the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe and the upheavals in South Africa and the former Soviet Union, unarmed people were able to change the future of the world for the better.

‘Sacred Are The Brave’ is a collection of nine short stories that examines some of these struggles up close and personal. The characters of these short fictions are ordinary people who get swept up in the call for change in their lives and in their nations. One man attempts to change things through a failed hunger strike. A young girl sets out to ask Imelda Marcos to share some of her
thousands of pairs of shoes with the poor. A young college student journals the revolution in her home country of Czechoslovakia. A man tries to tunnel under the iron curtain to reach his lost fiancĂ©. A group of protestors set out to liberate Unity Bridge in an undisclosed Eastern European nation. These are some of the stories of courage you will find in ‘Sacred Are The Brave’.

Each story tells in unerring detail the plight of its characters as they face the very human and sometimes inhuman treatment at the hands of soldiers and other authorities who are determined to put an end to their revolutionary activities. Some were more successful than others but all, as history has revealed, brought liberation to their nations in the end. If you are looking for a very realistic portrayal of the nonviolent revolutions of recent history, you need look no further than ‘Sacred Are the Brave.’

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Monday, February 13, 2012

– A Letter from the Author

Well-adjusted people never make history. Those who are perfectly adjusted to the age they live in become a part of that age in history. That is how they are remembered. Those who are malcontent and maladjusted are the ones who seek to change things. And, every so often enough malcontents come together to cause a revolution. And, as was the case in the year 1989, revolution in one place can inspire revolution in many other places. In fact in that one year nearly one third of the earth’s population was involved in nonviolent revolution.
In Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, in Poland, in East Germany, and in many other places ordinary people rose up against their oppressive governments and forced change to happen without use of arms. With only their faith and their courage the people of these countries
stood against the heavily armed tyrants whose rule had gone unchallenged for decades. If it had not been for the actions of those brave souls, these nations and the many others like them might
still be ruled by the iron fist of ruthless dictators.
My previous work, ‘The Angelic Mysteries’ was an experimental novella. Its plot was stripped bare of all extraneous words and lengthy descriptions to put the reader in touch with the underlying struggle of spirit world versus material world. The protagonist Daniel Allman, fleeing the specter of madness (portrayed by the ruthless Morton Toombs) meets an unusual woman, Sarah, who believes she is an angel. Many readers claimed it read more like a screen play than a work of fiction. That was my intention.
The nine short stories that comprise ‘Sacred Are the Brave’ are much more conventional. They are fictions that portray the lives of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times. People who never thought they would become caught up in the struggle for independence.
People who had perhaps only heard the names Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. in passing. Who had never formally studied the way of nonviolent direct action. Who never imagined that a relative handful of committed activists could change the course of history. And yet that is precisely what happened.
These short fictions are peopled by university students, young lovers, factory workers, former soldiers, reporters, priests, nuns, and others. Their lives become tangled up together as
they stand against the powers of their day. They are the unintentional malcontents of their time.
All great literature is the work of malcontents. Those who are perfectly adjusted to the age they live in become a part of that age. Their work is nearly indistinguishable from any other work written during their time. Every work of great literature is unique. It springs from its own well of
greatness within the author. Every one of these books of great fiction and nonfiction on my shelves here are strange and wonderful. No two are alike. I hope you will find the stories of ‘Sacred Are the Brave’ strange and wonderful as well.


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