Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda discusses a future free of nuclear arms with David Krieger, founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Their dialogue offers a balance of Eastern and Western perspectives on the “people power” needed in order to imagine and press for the elimination of nuclear arms. The authors urge a conscious and active choice of hope as the first step toward a more just and peaceful world.
Both allow that the 20th century gave rise to this “Nuclear Age.” Yet indifference, they insist, is no option when our very existence is at stake and no one, no nation is immune to the ever-present danger of nuclear annihilation. The conventional view of security can and must be rethought to go beyond national interests and embrace the security of humanity as a whole.
“We have reached a point in human history that demands more from each of us,” Krieger writes in his Preface. “It is not just leaders who make history. It is all of us.”
People themselves are the crucial agents for change—self-motivated and empowered to change their thinking about the world, they must speak out and take action. Education plays an essential part—as do spirituality and the arts—according to both Krieger and Ikeda, in overcoming the social ills of discrimination and cultivating the seeds of compassion. The authors encourage especially youth to take the lead in shaping the world they will inherit.
Throughout the dialogue are inspiring examples of contemporary as well as historical figures whose efforts have advanced the cause of peace and the abolition of nuclear arms. These as well as the authors’ own endeavors serve to demonstrate their point that it is within everyone’s reach to “wage peace” by engaging in the kind of dialogue that creates mutual understanding.
Choose Hope is also available in Japanese and Italian.
Prefaces to the English Edition
Prefaces to the Japanese Edition
PART ONE: THE POWER
OF THE INDIVIDUAL
Peace, Imagination and Action
From a Century of War to a Century of Peace
The Challenge To Bring Forth a New Reality
PART TWO: PERSONAL
MOTIVATIONS FOR PEACE ACTIVISM
Children of the Nuclear Age
Conscientious Objection to War
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The Season of Hiroshima
PART THREE: TRANSCENDING
THE NUCLEAR AGE
The Mission of Science
The Challenge of Abolition 2000
The Abyss of Total Annihilation
PART FOUR: THE CHALLENGE
OF THE FUTURE
Human Security and the Future
of the United Nations
Literature and Life
The Importance of
The Role of Education
About the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
About the Soka Gakkai International
In a presentation ceremony held at the Book Expo America in Los Angeles on May 30, 2003 Choose Hope won the Silver Award in the Political Science category of ForeWord Magazine’s 2002 Book of the Year Awards. ForeWord Magazine is a literary review trade journal covering the independent publishing industry in the United States, and has been sponsoring the annual competition since 1998.
"This dialogue between Krieger, a founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and Ikeda, a prolific Buddhist writer and peace activist, posits that hope for peace is a conscious choice and that ordinary people can and must guide their leaders to create it... [T]he thrust of [this work] is to inspire fresh thinking, hope and action."
—The Washington Post
"Our survival requires that we turn from war and bloodshed to conciliation and discussion. This inspiring book shows that dialogue is good not only between opponents but is also creatively stimulating among advocates of peace."
—His Holiness, The Dalai Lama
"In this nuclear age, when the future of humankind is imperiled by irrational strategies, it is imperative to restore sanity to our policies and hope to our destiny. Only a rational analysis of our problems can lead to their solution. This book is an example par excellence of a rational approach.
"Both authors, David Krieger and Daisaku Ikeda, are life-long campaigners for peace in the world; in this dialogue they discuss a variety of issues relevant to the achievement of their goals. This will encourage the reader to seek further ways to fulfill the tasks before us."
—Joseph Rotblat, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
"This book gives us all hope because it reminds us that in addition to the gift of life, we are each also given the gift of choice. We each can choose to reject the bomb, the bullet, and all the techniques of violence. We can choose to live fully alive in each moment, refusing to hurt or kill our brothers and sisters, who make up the human family. We can, above all, as Daisaku Ikeda and David Krieger remind us in this inspirational book, choose hope."
—Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
"In a world threatened by tremendous dangers, voices of courageous leaders are urgently needed. In the dialogue presented in this brilliant book, Daisaku Ikeda and David Krieger offer many bold ideas for ways of moving toward a future with peace and abundance for all members of the human family.
"This book will encourage active people everywhere to take the vital steps necessary to sustain hope for this generation and all the generations to come."
—Frank K. Kelly, senior vice president of The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and author of Court of Reason: Robert Hutchins and the Fund for the Republic
"This is a noble book by two noble men who invite us to join them in waging peace and implanting a new hope in an embittered world of hatred, greed and war. There is a contagiousness of caring here. My hope is that we will all catch it."
—Gerry Spence, trial lawyer and author of Give Me Liberty
"Nothing could be more important than Choose Hope by two reputed world thinkers. All the elements are assembled here to obtain, at long last, a tremendous century and millennium of peace."
—Dr. Robert Muller, former UN assistant secretary general and co-founder of the UN University for Peace
"With passion and admirable clarity, two of the world's most dedicated peace thinkers explore the full spectrum of human possibilities for peace and justice, considering practical steps and expressing their visionary hopes. An inspiring book, especially valuable in this dark time."
—Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law and practice at Princeton University
"In a world where the only superpower asserts the right to possess thousands of nuclear weapons indefinitely and has announced plans to build ’new, more usable nuclear weapons,’ it is obvious that humankind remains in mortal danger. Choose Hope offers the fascinating, deeply-held views of two activists who are working hard to lessen nuclear dangers. David Krieger and Daisaku Ikeda identify positive measures to be taken by citizens of the world in order to increase the hope that global annihilation need not be the inexorable outcome of more than 55 years of nuclear folly."
—Admiral Eugene Carroll, former Deputy Director of the Center for Defense Information
"It is impossible to separate threats to the ocean, to the environment, and to life itself from the nuclear industry. Choose Hope helps us to recover our sanity and to make the choice between life or nuclear death and suffering, and reminds us that our choice matters, now more than ever."
—Jean-Michel Cousteau, President, Ocean Futures Society
"In the dialogue in this book between two eminent thinkers, David Kreiger and Daisaku Ikeda, whose lives are devoted to the cause of peace, there are nuggets of wisdom that the authors have culled from philosophers and leaders, such as Socrates, Plato, Nelson Mandela and Einstein.
"These are fertilizers to nurture young minds in the cause of peace and the prevention of universal annihilation. The challenge is to avoid negative attitudes that compel us towards conflict, which will, in the nuclear age, lead us to an empty void.
"We must free ourselves from current trends of thought that lead to war.
"This book provides great inspiration for leaders in every sphere of human activity and also for young people all over the world to commit themselves to waging peace as a means of breaking decisively with the degradation of the twentieth century and lifting humanity to our highest possibilities."
—Arthur N.R. Robinson, President, Trinidad and Tobago
"For anyone, especially young people, wishing to make the world a more peaceful and humane place, Choose Hope is the answer. This inspirational dialogue between two of the world's foremost advocates for peace passionately provides the moral, political and spiritual justifications for the need to take decisive steps to end the threat of the nuclear age. I highly recommend it to any young person who wants to make the world a better place in which to live."
—Marc Kielburger, founder, Leaders Today, and executive director, Free the Children International
"Choose Hope is just what was needed for a peace conversation between our tradition and that of the East. Often we are separated on judgments but, as this book indicates, we both seek peace in the world even though we may approach it on different tracks. Well worth reading."
—The. Rev Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, president emeritus, University of Notre Dame
“This thought-provoking dialogue between two committed peace leaders makes clear that true security requires more from the United Nations and its member states and more from each of us. On our path to eliminating nuclear arms and finding peaceful solutions to conflict, Choose Hope will make an inspiring companion.”
—Rodrigo Carazo, former president of Costa Rica