A million for peace: the story of the peacemaking fund of the United Church of Canada

Shirley Farlinger. Toronto: United Church Publishing House 1995

By Caitlin McVean (reviewer)

Shirley Farlinger's book, A Million for Peace, documents a period of Canadian history that has not been told before. Throughout the second half of the 1980s, the United Church of Canada sponsored the efforts of groups and individuals promoting peace education in Canada. A "Peacemaking Fund" of a half million dollars, along with matched funding became the life blood of 150 local initiatives, as well as a new peace theology.

A Million for Peace tells the stories of Canadians who made a difference, from those who worked to establish the fund to those whose hard work and vision were supported by the fund. Canadians of all ages and religions took up the banner of peace: Students Against Global Extermination (SAGE) travelled across Canada to talk to young people about peace, the Raging Grannies sang out against the nuclear age, and Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone campaigns spread like wildfire.

Shirley Farlinger paints an honest picture. She's the first to admit that working for peace was and is a struggle against powerful forces and that along with the triumphs come hardships, but what becomes clear is that we have all benefited from the efforts of these individuals. As a Canadian, I was filled with pride as I read A Million for Peace. It is a touching and highly personal account of a time that we can all be proud of and a symbol of what we are all capable of.

The world has not changed so dramatically as to remove the need for peacemakers. A Million for Peace offers a valuable reference for both today's activists and generations to come. Furthermore, it stands as a symbol of our responsibility as Canadians to work together for a lasting peace.

Peace Magazine Jul-Aug 1995

Peace Magazine Jul-Aug 1995, page 31. Some rights reserved.

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