I had put this book on my Amazon wish list awhile back, around the same time I saw the movie adaptation starring Angelina Jolie. I knew that the movie...moreI had put this book on my Amazon wish list awhile back, around the same time I saw the movie adaptation starring Angelina Jolie. I knew that the movie stayed as true as possible to the book, so I really wanted to get a more in-depth look at the life of Danny and Mariane Pearl.
The portrait Mariane Pearl paints of her husband, their friends, Pakistan, and those who were a part of the massive effort to find and bring Danny Pearl home is detailed and incredibly perceptive. She made me feel as if I knew these people, as if they were mutual friends that we were discussing.
Reading this book, I felt Mariane's tremendous love for her husband, and for the life they had together as seekers of truth through responsible journalism. I also felt her incredible frustration with the Pakistani authorities, who seemed to not care so much about Danny's kidnapping as they did about how it made their country appear in the eyes of the world. I also understood the affection and trust she felt for those who did their best to bring Danny home - Captain, Dost, Randall Bennett and the many others she worked alongside during the weeks that Danny was kidnapped.
A Mighty Heart showcases both the best and the worst of human nature. Mariane and her family were victims of the worst of human nature, but they found some of the best in those who came to their aid.
At times, I had tears in my eyes. Tears of rage. Tears of anguish. Mostly I asked myself, how can someone hate that much? I can't understand it. How can anyone hate so much that they have to destroy anything and everything that doesn't conform to their viewpoint?
I agree with Mariane. We need to begin a dialogue. And we need to keep it going, no matter what. We have to make things better, because no one is going to do it for us. Mariane Pearl is a woman of tremendous courage and understanding. We could all learn a lesson from her.
I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an architect of peace. (less)
While the descriptions of what was done to these dogs by Vick and his cohorts are sometimes hard to read, the fact that these dogs were allowed to liv...moreWhile the descriptions of what was done to these dogs by Vick and his cohorts are sometimes hard to read, the fact that these dogs were allowed to live - and in turn, thrive - speaks volumes about the people involved with this case.
I am proud that an organization I support, the ASPCA, helped make this possible. And while the Humane Society has seen the error of their outdated thinking with regards to fight-bust dogs, I can't support them. I've had personal experience with their lack of concern for animals in need and I refuse to give my money to an organization that doesn't practice what it preaches. As for PETA, they're nothing but a bunch of idiots who could care less about animals, so long as they get their name in the paper.
I'll admit, I'm conflicted about Vick. On one hand, I think he is heinous. Any person who could torture an animal the way he did is a serial killer in training, in my opinion. At the same time, I'm grateful that because he had money, these dogs will never lack for anything as long as they live. I wish that he had gotten more jail time. But at the same time, as the author wisely points out in the Afterword, Vick lost a lot. He lost a contract worth $130 million. He lost endorsements - and he'll probably never get those back, because what company wants to be associated with an animal killer, a monster? He missed out on events in his kids' lives. He has been punished. But at the same time, I am troubled by the fact that he doesn't seem remorseful about his actions. The only thing he appears to be sorry about is the fact that he got caught. I'm afraid that at some point down the line, Vick is going to do this again.
I am appalled at the NFL for making dog jerseys with Vick's name and number on them. I'm even more appalled at the pet stores that actually carried those jerseys. I'm horrified that people continued to support Vick even as he was admitting his part in this horrific crime. I'm disgusted with the commonwealth attorney, Gerald Poindexter, who acted like the only reason the US Attorney's office went after Vick was because he was black. It seems to me that Poindexter had reasons for not wanting Vick prosecuted, and I can only speculate what those reasons were. But it's obvious after reading this book that he may have known about what was happening on Moonlight Road and chose to ignore it or was paid to ignore it. I'm disgusted at the people who were foolish enough to reelect him because they refuse to see what he is: a bigot with a persecution complex.
But most of all, I am grateful for those organizations who worked together to save these dogs from death. The ASPCA, BAD RAP, Best Friends, Recycled Love and the other rescue groups who stepped up and gave these dogs a second chance and who set them up for success, not failure, have my deepest respect and admiration.
I think everyone who thinks negatively of pit bulls should read this book. I think, and hope, that it will change opinions about pits, just as the Vick dogs, with their successes, are changing perceptions as well.(less)