“I have been waiting for years for George Lakey to write a memoir. Now it has arrived, and we are blessed with his reflections on a career that weaves through an improbably expansive list of the last century’s major social movements, recounting George’s contributions to civil rights, anti-war, pro-democracy, LGBTQ liberation, labor, and environmental causes. This book is a marvelous account of a life filled with organizing for peace, justice, and freedom. It has been well worth the wait.”
– Mark Engler, journalist and co-author of This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century
“Almost no one I can think of has made better use of their time on earth—and George Lakey just keeps going. This book is equal parts illuminating and inspiring!”
– Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened
“George is a true elder, one who shows up to support the diverse, youth-led nonviolent direct action campaigns of today.”
– Sarah Nahar, scholar/activist, interspiritual theologian, direct action trainer.
“George Lakey is a hero, but not the kind that wears a cape or stands on mountaintops declaring victory. He's one of those quiet, tireless heroes who doesn't think of himself as a hero. George is simply living his life the way he knows a life should be lived—steadily, lovingly, bravely, joyfully, honestly, and with an absolutely unmatchable excitement for life. He has spent his life fighting for freedom—for himself and for all of us—and this book, full of adventures and lessons, is still only a snapshot of that, but more than enough to remind us of what is important: That we can be heroes too.”
– Yotam Marom, founding director of the Wildfire Project
“George reminds us that ‘you can’t beat somebody with nobody’ and he has been a somebody for countless justice, peace and social movements. This book invites action rooted in deep listening, inserted in community, and inspired by love.”
– Kathi Bentall, Retreat facilitator and spiritual director, Rivendell Retreat Centre, Bowen Island, Canada.
“George Lakey is a national treasure, whom I met when I was 22. Dancing with George was a blast. His unstoppable, thoughtful, contagious approach to democratic action has inspired my life’s work. It’s a story Americans need now more than ever.”
– Frances Moore Lappé, author, Diet for a Small Planet, Director, Small Planet Institute
“George Lakey’s memoir is an epic of the personal in flow with the political – a dance with history indeed! As such, it is an outstanding example in the rich tradition of Quaker spiritual autobiography.”
– Doug Gwyn, author of A Sustainable Life: Quaker Faith & Practice in the Renewal of Creation
“This is a rare memoir that not only engages the reader, but forces one to think about how we can be more effective agents for change. Lakey was well ahead of his time on many of the seminal political struggles since the 1950s, but he repeatedly emphasizes that being right is not enough—you also have to think strategically. For example, while committed to pacifism as a personal ethic, he also acknowledges the critical importance of recognizing the strategic advantages of nonviolent action. And his stories underscore the importance that nonviolent action campaigns be as well-planned, creative, and tactical as military or electoral campaigns.”
– Stephen Zunes, The Progressive