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Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,758 ratings  ·  298 reviews

"I""n a time of death and terror, Leymah Gbowee brought LiberiaOCOs women togetherOCoand together they led a nation to peace."

As a young woman, Leymah Gbowee was broken by the Liberian civil war, a brutal conflict that tore apart her life and claimed the lives of countless relatives and friends. Years of fighting destroyed her countryO
ebook, 260 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Beast Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Clif Hostetler
Lemah Gbowee has come as close as it is humanly possible to staring the devil in his face. She didn't blink, lived to tell about it, and is now the co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. In this memoir she describes her journey from hopelessness to empowerment. It is a story that will touch the hearts of any reader who dreams of a better world.

This is the memoir of a woman who experienced the devastation and horror of civil war in her native Liberia. In many ways her life was broken when th
Amanda Konnik
I'm about to cast a very unpopular review, unfortunately there is just no way around it. "Mighty Be Our Powers", was simply unmotivational.

I must first give credit to Leymah Gbowee for her personal account of the Liberian war. The atrocities are unimaginable, unfortunately there in lies my issue with her recount of this devastating piece of African history. The majority of this novel is an introduction of how she felt throughout a good 10 years. Every moment, memory, challenge is simply a glimp
Amy Moritz
Throw the word "sisterhood" in the title of something and I'm immediately intrigued. That's just how I roll. Oh, and add a segment on NPR and I'm probably really going to be interested in the book. Such was the case with Mighty Be Our Powers. With little knowledge of Liberia or the civil war there, I came to the book with an open mind. Leymah does a fantastic job of describing her country both before and during the conflict. Her personal story is one of choices she made and living with those con ...more
This is a completely fascinating narrative of the Liberian Civil War that ended in 2003 - yes. I had no idea, and Gbowee actually won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 "for [her] non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work." This is a subject I knew nothing about, and I had no idea it was so recent.

The book itself is a little dry, and reads like Gbowee relating the story to Mithers. I'm sure this is what happened, but I've read narra
Rebecca Lunny
Mighty Be Our Powers is truly one of the most inspiring books I've ever read.

If you doubt the power of a female-only space, read this book.

If you are interested in conflict resolution, read this book.

If you wonder how one woman can inspire a nation to fight for peace, read this book.

I can not recommend this book highly enough. Leymah Gbowee is an amazing, real woman and one of my role models.
Gbowee does a good job of summarizing the major bullet points of the lead-up to the Liberian civil war. Those who feel unfamiliar with the subject might feel that they at least have some grasp of understanding to start understanding why it took place.

Gbowee tells the tale from a woman's perspective, and she takes great pains to mention the realities of many women whose lives she could never possibly understand or live (the child wife, the uneducated female child, the unloved and abused daughter,
What happens when reality violently jerks into a GRUESOME, LIVING HELL?

Not many teens I've spoken to know much about the Liberian War from the early 1990's to 2003. Yet that was one of the worst times in history- humans turned into disgusting creatures caught in chaos and no one was doing a thing about it. Finally, Leymah Gbowee, a strong yet lonely, hurting mother, changed everything with a demand for peace throughout West Africa with support from her fellow women.

Her autobiography shook me to
This memoir was interesting. It is about a woman in Liberia during their civil war. Her efforts helped to establish peace in their country and she went on to work internationally to being women into the peace process in Africa and the Middle East.

Although the story was interesting, it often got bogged down in acronyms and justifications. Although after being irritated about some of the things she talked about and then justified, I realized she didn't have to add them at all and was probably (may
I read this book because i saw Leymah on The Daily Show and thought she was a really interesting lady. The book started out strong but finished a little weak. I really enjoy hearing stories from the wars and about the movements but i cannot get into some of the religious aspects of the book. I also make it a point to read about countries like Liberia because i feel like i dont know the history like i should. In that aspect i learned so much about how liberia has evolved in the past 20 years. The ...more
"This is not a traditional war story. It is about an army of women in white standing up when one else would—unafraid, because the worst things imaginable had already happened to us. It is about how we found the moral clarity, persistence and bravery to raise our voices against war and restore sanity to our land. You have not heard it before, because it is an African woman's story, and our stories rarely are told. I want you to hear mine."

“Because of women like her, because of women like us, I be
Julie Laporte
Very empowering book for women. Inspiring. Made me realize just how much work can be done to achieve peace--and how many organizations and degreed programs/certifications/training there are available. Peace has always seemed like a sort of laissez-faire sort of concept for me (an over-simplification, but you get my drift)--a sort of ideal, and outside education and working for tolerance and conflict resolution, I wasn't sure how much a single person can do. This book will show you! I believe eve ...more
This startlingly intimate memoir is uplifting and heart-wrenching, sometimes in the same paragraph. Ms. Gbowee pulls no punches describing her experiences during the decade-long civil war that destroyed much of her country. There are some scenes in this book that are incredibly difficult to read as she documents the terror and fear that were constant companions for thousands of Liberians for years on end.

Ms. Gbowee is open about her personal failings, as well as the problems her country faced an
I think Leymah Gbowee deserved sharing the Nobel Peace Prize this year. I think she is one tough, strong, visionary and determined woman. I think Liberia and other countries in Africa and beyond are lucky to have her present. I think women and men everywhere would be touched and inspired by reading this book. I know I was/am. I, too, echo the voice of the older Liberian lady's voice, "Don't stop. Don't ever stop."

(and I liked learning about the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA an
This book was phenomenal. Simply put, it moved me. The author puts you IN the story. You picture the horrid conditions in Liberia, the slaughtering of innocent people. You feel her fear and desperation. You feel her drive for peace and you feel proud of her ambition for a better society in which to raise her kids.

In wretched times of war, many people flee. They leave their country, never to return. She is working toward the dream of returning to her home.

"My deepest dream, though, is to go home.
Don Weidinger
women in foreground, 1822-1842 independence, did exactly what done to them, common to cheat on women—men as dog, too greasy to throw away too bitter to swallow, Monrovia, government run school with no books and striking teachers, dual citizenship, rice as gold dust, fear and gratitude, Jesus satan we rebuke you, boots and soldiers, never—belongs to God, 6K civilians in 2 months dead, allow them to win, count your blessings and it will surprise you what the Lord has done, tie my waist for you, ha ...more
Leymah Gbowee is an absolutely amazing, inspiring, incredible women who took a hard past and hard life and turned it into something truly, unbelievably incredible. Mighty Be Our Powers is her memoir which is filled with more sorrow than joy, more tears than laughter, and more fear than peace. It all ended with a bittersweet ending filled with more joy than sorrow, more laughter than tears, and more peace than fear. Amazingly written and hard to put down Leymah Gebowee tells her story as it is. A ...more
Peter Heinrich
I started this book almost by accident, and really wasn't looking forward to the difficult subject matter—even if this memoir eventually turned out to be uplifting, faith-affirming, inspirational, eye-opening, etc. It was all those things, of course.

Gbowee tells an intensely personal story that feels genuine and unguarded, maybe at the cost of a little polish. She doesn't ignore her own shortcomings; she's not a saint. In this context, though, that just serves to emphasize how extraordinary chan
An uplifting and extraordinary story. This amazing woman along with the women of Western Africa have achieved astonishing things- not just peace in Liberia, which was the start her recognition. Gbowee manages to relate her memoir without dwelling on the horror of the war and with out bitterness. Her wide knowledge of peace procedures shines through and adds to the personal aspect of the memoir. I really enjoyed her ability to explain how these things in Africa could happen, and also how the issu ...more
Sam Diener
This book is extraordinary because Leymah Gbowee, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end the Liberian civil war through mass women's protests, survived atrocities and found courageous, creative ways of transforming her and her community's pain into determined strategically effective organizing to end the violence.

Among many other things, she's a war refugee who was nearly starved to death (more than once), a single mother whose kids nearly starved as well, a woman who was batter
I read this book for my book club, and I had high hopes after reading the reviews online. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed in it. Leymah Gbowee is undoubtedly a strong and courageous woman, and Liberia and the rest of the world are lucky to have women like her. But I didn't like this memoir. The writing is fine; not particularly eloquent, but not grammatically incorrect, either. There are a lot of details such as names of politicians, activists, and movements that got to be confusing to ...more
Melanie Springer
An amazing story about Gbowee's powerful influence in Liberia. This book was a reminder to me that strong women can make a difference, even in places where patriarchy seems overwhelming. Even more importantly, Gbowee's ability to draw the women of Liberia together and create peace in the midst of war shows me that retributive violence does not always--or ever--need to be the answer. The women of Liberia were able to create peace in a situation that seemed helpless.
Other than knowing who Charles Taylor is, I knew nothing about the civil wars in Liberia. Honestly, I still don't know much about the civil wars in Liberia, but this book is about the movement for peace.
Sisterhood and prayer played major roles in the movement. Through their counseling sessions, the women realized that, though men fought, women bore the hardship of war. These women were Christians and Muslims, who saw that their shared vision of peace for their families was more important than an
Maame Prempeh
This book is an incredibly journey of triumph in the face of atrocities. The courage and the willingness to sojourn will have you moved, you will cry, you will be angry and be moved to be inspired.

A mighty woman indeed. The resilience of the Africa woman is phenomenal. I am greatly affected by this book, the kind that makes you want to do something to impact humanity.
Rebecca Budd
Started - May 17, 2012 and completed June 6, 2012.

Excellent read - written by a courageous woman!
What are my takeaways?
1) Leymah wrote this book to inspire change beyond the borders of Liberia.
2) The power of community in action is indomitable.
3) Everyone has the power to be a peace builder.
Amazing story of a woman who refused to let war, politics, tragedy, circumstance and even her own bad choices continue to dis-empower her. Also a story of the power of women, united, to change the world around them.
Like Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy (about North Korea's famine from the 1990s), this was a book that confronted me with my embarrassing ignorance about recent world events. In this case, the scale of the Liberian civil war, and the fact that an incredible women's protest movement came out of it. I knew very little about the former, and zero about the latter. So: wow. And a must read, on this account.

Also a must-read since it was gut-wrenching, inspiring, and told with so much clarity and hear
So powerful. So important. So inspiring. I gave it five stars because I believe everyone should read it. Gbowee's life is worthy of 5 stars.
Reading this book, I realized how little I knew/know about the struggles in Liberia. The duration of the war and the continuing aftermath have all happened during my lifetime, and this book opened my eyes to these events. Think about all of the war coverage you've seen: how much of it focuses on the struggles of the women who have not caused the war but are suffering the fate of it such as famine, death and rape? Leymah Gbowee brings to the forefront the struggles of the Liberian women who watch ...more
Eden Gebreyesus
Leymah Gbowee is self-proclaimed activist for Liberian women regardless of her naturalization-- she is exceptionally influential to many women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and types-- awarded Nobel Peace Prize and featured on TedTalks. Leymah subdued conflicts of brutal war in West Coast of Africa by transforming her bitter situation into courageous acts with education she led a nation to peace. She is passionate peace-maker and her novel elucidates many dominant principles of African civilizat ...more
What an incredible woman! I saw "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" first (in 2011), which tells the story of how the women of Liberia brought peace to their country. This book is Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee's life story and covers many years before the first civil war and many years after the 2nd (the film focuses on the end of the 2nd Civil War). I definitely recommend this book, though you might want to watch the documentary first so you have a good idea what her story is leading up to. It was als ...more
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Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women's peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.
The peace movement began when Gbowee reportedly had a dream where God told her, "Gather the women and pray for peace!" That was the beginning of the peace movement that united Christian and Muslim women against President Charles Taylor and
More about Leymah Gbowee...

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“The person who hurt you--who raped you or killed your family--is also here. If you are still angry at that person, if you haven't been able to forgive, you are chained to him. Everyone could feel the emotional truth of that: When someone offends you and you haven't let go, every time you see him, you grow breathless or your heart skips a beat. If the trauma was really severe, you dream of revenge. Above you, is the Mountain of Peace and Prosperity where we all want to go. But when you try to climb that hill, the person you haven't forgiven weighs you down. It's a personal choice whether or not to let go. No one can tell you how long to mourn a death or rage over a rape. But you can't move forward until you break that chain.” 61 likes
“You can tell people of the need to struggle, but when the powerless start to see that they really can make a difference, nothing can quench the fire.” 17 likes
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