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Disarmed And Dangerous: The Radical Life And Times Of Daniel And Philip Berrigan, Brothers In Religious Faith And Civil Disobedience by Murray Polner (1998-03-20)

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  • By David Roger Allen on November 18, 2000

    The most famous Roman Catholics in America in the 1960's were two priests who were (still are) brothers: Philip and Daniel Berrigan, the former a priest member of the Society Of St. Joseph (commonly known as the "Josephites," an order dedicated to serving the Black community), the latter a Jesuit. SSJ and SJ respectively.Starting in the 1960's, these two priests broke a lot of laws, and served a lot of time in various jails and prisons. They became famous as objectors to the War In Vietnam, and later expanded their respective "ministries of protest" to other situations of social injustice, as they perceived it.Murray Polner and Jim O'Grady have written a fascinating account of the Berrigan brothers worth buying and reading. The Berrigan brothers became famous as two ninths of the "Catonsville (Maryland, USA) Nine," a group of protesters who, on May 17, 1968, raided a suburban Baltimore (Maryland, USA) draft board office, took its files of eligible young men about to be drafted into military service and possible combat in the then on-going War In Viet-Nam, and burned the draft board's records in a nearby parking lot, using a home made form of napalm. Only some of the records were removed and burned. The records left behind were stained with blood the two priests helped to pour over those records as a symbolic protest about the work of the draft board in promoting the War.That was only the start of the civil protest career of these two men. In the same year (1968), they traveled to Hanoi (the same year Jane Fonda did.) In succeeding years and decades, they continued their dramatic forms of protest, and were often jailed and served hard time in tough prisons.The story of the Berrigan Brothers is one every enthusiast about the social revolution of the 1960's should read. All Roman Catholics should read it, too, especially Josephites and Jesuits. These two priests put those two Catholic religious orders in the NEW YORK TIMES and in other prominent media many times, and in some ways no doubt determined the future of those orders, the Catholic Church (especially in the USA), and the USA itself.Much has been written both about and by the Berrigan Brothers. This 1997 book is an important addition to the important history of these important Catholic priests. Buy this book from Amazon.Com. Read it carefully. You won't be sorry.

  • By Gebre Menfes Kidus on May 20, 2012

    This is one of my favorite books. Along with Dorothy Day's autobiography, Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of God is Within You," and the writings of Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi, this excellent and highly readable biography portrays the lives of two brothers who were authentically committed to peace and nonviolence. The Berrigans were not motivated by a fashionable cause, like many of those today who claim to be a part of the peace movement. Rather than basing their convictions on politics or popularity, they were motivated instead by the Christian gospel and the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Berrigans were as opposed to abortion as they were to nuclear arms, capital punishment, and war. They walked their talk and put their lives on the line for what they believed in. If only there were more like them around today. A great read. Humorous, edifying, and enlightening.

  • By K. McHugh on December 3, 2003

    Not having been alive in the 60s and 70s, I had heard the Berrigan brothers mentioned among Catholic (and non-Catholic) peace-and-justice types, but had no idea about the tremendous work they did (that daniel is still doing) and the huge impact they made in the struggle for social justice, peace, integration, and social morality. This is a must-read, not only for those interested in the Catholic Left, but for anyone who is mired in the day-to-day skirmishes against an oppressive government. This book entertains AND inspires!


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