Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Peace Is What He Wanted

Do you ever read a book to your children, only to be left pondering about life all night?
That happened to me this evening.
This is the book we read:

I really almost cried while reading it. This is the true story of Alfred Nobel, the man behind the Nobel Peace Prize. If you don't like spoilers, then stop reading at this point, and read the book for yourself  :)

With its beautiful illustrations and tastefully simple text, the book tells how Alfred Nobel spent his entire life trying to make nitroglycerin into a safe and usable explosive for bridges and buildings. His true love was poetry and literature, but he forsook his love to devote his talents to what he thought was the betterment of society. His one brother, Emil, died during the experiments; this only urged Alfred to work harder to develop a safe explosive. His hope was that if people saw the disastrous effects of such an explosive, they would be deterred from hurting each other.

Alfred goes on to discover dynamite, and as a result he becomes wealthy and known around the globe.Unfortunately, however, the dynamite has the opposite effect on people that Alfred had hoped for. Instead of becoming more peaceful, people begin using dynamite to hurt each other. In a strange twist of events, Alfred opens the newspaper one day to his own obituary! Sadly, in the obituary, Alfred Nobel is described as a greedy man  who used his harmful invention to get rich. Alfred was so distraught that he spent the rest of his life lonely and isolated. He ended up willing most of his money to a "prize" fund to be awarded to the individual who did the most to promote peace in a given year. He hoped that by creating the Nobel peace prize, he could do what he had always wanted:  Make peace.

We checked this book out of our library, but it might be one that I choose to live on my book shelf :) I hope you enjoy...