As global symbols of social progress, books – learning and reading -- have become targets for those who denigrate culture and education, who reject dialogue and tolerance. In recent months, we have seen attacks on children at school and the public burning of books. In this context, our duty is clear – we must redouble efforts to promote the book, the pen, the computer, along with all forms of reading and writing, in order to fight illiteracy and poverty, to build sustainable societies, to strengthen the foundations of peace.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin changed the ways in which white Americans viewed slavery and galvanized a generation to join the abolition movement. Uncle Tom's Cabin serves as an example of the potential books have to alter the discourse around certain issues and motivate individuals to action.
What books have changed your mind on an issue? What books do you regards as being socially and politically important? What power do you think books hold? Let us know!