GLICK-REIMAN, Beth




Author Tags: Women

Peace Train to Beijing and Beyond (Northstone $ 19.95)

In 1915, Swedish women crossed Europe on a peace train. In 1995, the same Swedish-born organization sponsored a second Peace Train as a prelude to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Among the 27,000 participants was Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As one of 240 people from 42 nations who traversed eight countries in seven weeks on the Peace Train—travelling from Helsinki to Beijing—Beth Glick-Reiman encountered feelings of separation as much as feelings of community. “Feelings of separation are the first step toward war,” she says. “All of this is not to say that the Peace Train failed in its attempt to make peace...

“Who is to say, for example, what impact we had on the decision of President Jacques Chirac of France to stop nuclear testing? Who is to say what influence we had on U.S. President Bill Clinton’s decision to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty a year later?”
Glick-Reiman interviews other conference participants and describes the workshops she attended, such as ‘The Rise of Religious Conservatism’ and ‘Rural Women in China’. Inevitably she recounts several ‘horror stories’ about the commonplace violation of women’s human rights.

Child prostitution. Infanticide. Poverty. Glick-Rieman’s memoir Peace Train to Beijing and Beyond (Northstone $ 19.95) includes both sobering statistics and alarming testimonies, but it is nonetheless subtitled The Hope and Promise of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women.

Glick-Reiman ends by quoting suffragist Susan B. Anthony (“Failure is impossible!”) and anthropologist Margaret Mead’s admonition, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 1-896836-15-1

[BCBW WINTER 1998] "Women"