Martin and Dorothie Hellman, longtime Peace Action members, have published an incredible book, A New Map for Relationships: Creating True Love at Home and Peace on the Planet, that we wholeheartedly recommend to our members and anyone interested in peace. Taking the reader through the story of their marriage, the Hellmans explain how they dramatically improved their relationship while at the same time mapping out a new approach to international relations.
Taking turns speaking in first person throughout the book, the authors share their perspectives on the most personal chapters of their marriage and explain how their quest to improve their relationship could only be navigated with a new map; one that highlights the paths of compassion and holistic thinking. Then through a series of case studies, they examine how their new map might have been applied to U.S. conflicts with Iraq, Vietnam, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Afghanistan. With historical expertise and analytical prowess, they explain the many reasons why nations and their leaders would do well to choose these paths at every turn moving forward.
Former Secretary of Defense William Perry called A New Map for Relationships “a truly unique book that tells an engaging and persuasive story relating domestic peace to world peace.” He also characterized it as “an especially important work considering the enormously destructive power of nuclear weapons,” adding that “the struggle for interpersonal dominance can lead to the end of a marriage, but the struggle for geopolitical dominance can lead to the end of civilization.”
The notion that compassion is key to peace is simple enough, but as the book explains, whether in the life of a person or a country, you don’t simply arrive one day at a peaceful happy relationship, you have to commit to constantly work at it, and following through with that commitment takes a set of tools that this book makes readily available.
By challenging their readers to adopt a holistic approach to relationships in their own lives and to support this approach on an international scale, Martin and Dorothie have mapped out a new way forward for the leaders of nations, and for anyone who hopes to experience the joy of close interpersonal relationships. With every new reader, this book is sure to make the world a more peaceful place.