Bone to Pick: Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation and Revenge

Choose how life goes, is a popular saying, expressing a sentiment that is undeniably noble and good. Yet in fact, we have little choice in the matter. For life is a gift-one that chooses us. Our decision is in what we do with that life, with how we endeavor to lead it-with how tenaciously, and wisely, we defend it; with how well we cope with its tragedies and hardships. Bone to Pick provides an eloquent and engaging analysis of the process of forgiveness and reconciliation that is central to the human experience.

Introduction: Honoring the Past, Healing a Soul

Chapter 1: Deciding to Forgive

Chapter 2: The Unforgivable

Chapter 3: Sweet Revenge

Chapter 4: Harmony out of Chaos

Chapter 5: Discharging a Debt

Chapter 6: Memory and Truth

Epilogue: The Ghost in the Bunker, The Man in the Hole

Here’s what they are saying about Bone to Pick…

“Bone to Pick provides an eloquent and engaging analysis of the process of forgiveness and reconciliation that is central to the human experience. Cose analyzes Jim Crow racism, apartheid, sexual abuse, the caste system, and genocide-drawing conclusions about hurt, forgiveness, revenge and reconciliation that are as relevant for individuals as for entire societies. The well-researched and poignant examples elucidate how our past is intimately connected to our future, and Cose pays tribute to the indefatigable perseverance of the human spirit.”

–Anthony Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union

“Ellis Cose explores complex, painful, yet crucial issues of historical memory. Without succumbing to easy answers, he seeks resolutions that will break us free from the shackles of hate, fear and shame. Cose points us toward a more just and harmonious world.”

–Peter D. Bell, executive director, CARE

Atrocities by individuals and by states occur with dismaying frequency, leaving in their wake abiding memories of wounds that cripple lives and whole societies. How to disarm memories and thereby find peace and, where possible, reconciliation is the moving theme of this powerful and insightful study of man’s inhumanity to man”

–James Hoge, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine