What Happens When a Society Succumbs to the Mass Insanity of Warfare?
SUMMER SNOW is a peace novel set amidst the war on terrorism as an American warrior falls in love with a Sufi Muslim and learns from her an alternative to the military mentality. While Special Forces battle al-Qaeda, the escalating violence threatens their future together and the lives of thousands. To save them, the Sufis use ancient techniques designed to bring peace to the collective consciousness and end war. But can they make them work in time?
A tale of love in the shadow of destruction, SUMMER SNOW blends romance, adventure, and mystic wisdom to communicate its theme that higher consciousness is more effective than violence and that women may be more able than men to lead us there.
In writing SUMMER SNOW I drew on my experiences during a year and a half in Central Asia. The first three chapters are reprinted at http://www.shattercolors.com/fiction/hathaway_summersnow01.htm. Reviews are posted on http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Snow-William/product-reviews/097384423X.
Most of my other writing also deals with understanding violence — the physical violence of war, the structural violence built into capitalism, and the mental violence of stressed human beings — to help us overcome it and bring peace. I began my writing career as a newspaper reporter in San Francisco, then joined the Special Forces to write a book about war. A WORLD OF HURT won a Rinehart Foundation Award for its portrayal of the psychological roots of war: the emotional blockage and need for patriarchal approval that draw men to the military. The book is now out of print, but if you write to me at the address below, I’ll send it to you scanned — and free, such a deal! I’ve also published a young-adult novel, CD-RING, the story of a boy learning about the futility of violence and the need for peaceful communication.
My latest book, RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War, is a return to journalism. Published by Trine Day, this nonfiction book tells the first-person experiences of war resisters, deserters, and peace activists in Iraq, Afghanistan, North America, and Europe. It’s a narrative journey along diverse paths of nonviolence, the true stories of people using unconventional ways to create a peaceful society. They’ve moved beyond demonstrations and petitions into direct action, defying the government’s laws and impeding its capacity to kill. The book’s website: http://media.trineday.com/radicalpeace
My three years in the Green Berets really soured me on traditional masculinity. I’ve seen where it leads — up close. Since then, opposing it has become a focus of my activism and writing. A WORLD OF HURT, SUMMER SNOW, and RADICAL PEACE all portray in different ways how patriarchal machismo contributes to war and other social pathologies. They show how our culturally imposed gender roles are part of the factors that propel us to violence. One attraction of combat is that it is a substitute for eroticism; it’s the ultimate sexual perversion. It also reduces our ability to love. Our society has degraded masculinity into aggressive competition and domination; it’s become a deadly toxin which has poisoned us all. Men have to confront and overcome this part of themselves before men and women together can heal it.
I also wrote the screenplay for SOCRATES, an educational film starring Ed Asner that was broadcast on PBS. I was a Fulbright professor of creative writing and American studies at universities in Germany, where I’m currently living.
The book I’m now writing, WELLSPRINGS: A Fable of Consciousness, deals with Transcendental Meditation as a means to peace. I was made a teacher of Transcendental Meditation by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
I hope you find something good to read here. Several pieces are posted under the “My Writing” section on the upper right of this page. Also the links below will take you to more content. We’ve had to disable the comments section because of spam, but you can reach me at [email protected]
Selections from RADICAL PEACE:
The Real War Heroes: http://www.sociology.org/featured/real-war-heroes
SAMS for Uncle Sam: http://www.countercurrents.org/hathaway260510.htm
Escaping the Military: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/06/excerpt-radical-peace-william-hathaway/
Defector from the Green Berets: http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/997
German Jewish Community Begins Again: http://articles.latimes.com/1999/sep/20/local/me-12224
Resurrecting Insurrection: http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/377
Are Wars Inevitable? http://forusa.org/blogs/william-hathaway/are-wars-inevitable/8844