Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo (Bantam) One of the groundbreaking howls of outrage against the evils of war, this novel, published in 1938, tells the story of a gung-ho soldier who loses all his limbs in battle.
Catch 22, by Joseph Heller (Simon & Schuster) Heller's laugh-out-loud post-second-world-war bestseller tracks a desperate man who tries everything to get out of his tour of duty.
Born On The Fourth Of July, by Ron Kovic (Akashic) War hero Kovic's powerful memoir recounts his experiences spearheading Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
JARHEAD: A MARINE'S CHRONICLE OF THE GULF WAR AND OTHER BATTLES, by Anthony Swofford (Scribner) Recently adapted for film, Jarhead highlights the pointless brutalization of grunts stationed in Iraq during Desert Storm.
Roots Of Empathy: Changing The World Child By Child, by Mary Gordon (Thomas Allen) This book, rapidly moving up Canada's bestseller lists, outlines a strategy to end bullying by bringing violent kids in contact with babies.
The Peace Book: 108 Simple Ways to Create a More Peaceful World, by Louise Diamond (Conari) In this guide, peacemaking becomes personal.
Non-violent political action
Gandhi - An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth, by Mahatma Gandhi (Beacon Press) The godfather of non-violence describes his personal journey to spiritual and political enlightenment.
A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-violent Conflict, by Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall (Palgrave Macmillan) Though its authors would be the first to credit Gandhi, this book is an essential guide to the history of civil disobedience.
The Story Of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf (Viking Juvenile) Peace-loving Ferdinand the bull would rather smell the flowers than fight.
The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein (HarperCollins) Silverstein's classic is one of the best books for teaching why we should be kind to the earth.