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Mighty Be Our Powers summary

Leymah Gbowee with Carol Mithers

How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War

4.7 (13 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee with Carol Mithers is a memoir that details Gbowee's journey in leading the women's peace movement in Liberia and how it helped end the country's brutal civil war.

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    Mighty Be Our Powers
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    Leymah Gbowee’s pleasant life and bright future were interrupted when war broke out in Liberia.

    The author, Leymah Gbowee, recalls being excited and happy at her high school graduation party. She was seventeen at the time, and she lived with her family in the beautiful African city of Monrovia, Liberia.

    When Gbowee finished high school, she had a comfortable family life and a bright future. With her excellent grades, she looked forward to university, where she would study biology and chemistry – all in preparation for becoming a doctor.

    Gbowee’s father had a steady job as a US Embassy technician, and her mother worked at a drugstore. With their combined salaries, the family could afford to send Gbowee and her three sisters to the best schools in Monrovia.

    They didn’t live a life of luxury, but they had their own house, car, TVs and a modern kitchen. And they were part of a close community that made sure no one went homeless or hungry.

    But, when war broke out in Liberia, all of this came crumbling down in a matter of months.

    It all started in March of 1990, just as Gbowee’s graduation was underway.

    The conflict surrounded the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), a group of armed rebels under the command of Charles Taylor. The NPFL entered northern Liberia to overthrow Samuel Doe, Liberia’s president, and from the beginning, their sights were set on Monrovia, the nation’s capital.

    Samuel Doe was the first Liberian president who wasn’t part of the land-owning elites. Nonetheless, he still proved to be corrupt and violent, and during his rule, he was focused on tribal identity. He awarded the most powerful positions in his government to fellow Krahns, an ethnic group that excluded the Gio and Mano people.

    Opposition against President Doe grew and eventually united behind Charles Taylor and the NPFL. But Taylor’s rebels weren't alone. Another rebel group led by former NPFL commander Prince Yormie Johnson was also moving toward the nation’s capital.

    With these two groups fighting both the government and each other, the country exploded into chaos. In a matter of weeks, soldiers were holding executions in the streets, electricity stopped working and food became scarce.

    Suddenly, Gbowee’s future was uncertain.

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    What is Mighty Be Our Powers about?

    Mighty Be Our Powers (2011) tells the inspirational story of Leymah Gbowee, a woman who fought for peace after years of civil war had devastated her country, Liberia. As a mother who believed her bright future had been snatched away from her, Gbowee brought together a powerful group of women who were fed up with the violence. Their peaceful protests changed the course of history, and their story deserves to be heard by anyone who’s ever lost hope.

    Mighty Be Our Powers Review

    Mighty Be Our Powers (2011) is a riveting memoir by Leymah Gbowee, showcasing the incredible power of collective action in transforming societies affected by war. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Raw and honest accounts of Gbowee's experiences, offering an intimate glimpse into the realities of conflict and the resilience of the human spirit.
    • The book highlights the importance of grassroots movements and the role of women in challenging oppressive systems, making it both empowering and enlightening.
    • Gbowee's storytelling ability captures the reader's attention, ensuring that the book is far from boring as it sheds light on the transformative potential of peace and justice.

    Best quote from Mighty Be Our Powers

    Whats the point of education when one bullet can undo it?

    —Leymah Gbowee with Carol Mithers
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    Who should read Mighty Be Our Powers?

    • Peace workers and activists
    • Women, mothers and feminists
    • Anyone who loves an inspirational story of peace

    About the Author

    Leymah Gbowee is a peace activist and recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in empowering Liberian women and putting an end to her nation’s civil war. She is also a cofounder of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, as well as president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation, in Africa.

    Carol Mithers is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in a variety of respected publications, including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

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    Mighty Be Our Powers FAQs 

    What is the main message of Mighty Be Our Powers?

    The main message of Mighty Be Our Powers is the power of collective action and the ability of ordinary people to create extraordinary change.

    How long does it take to read Mighty Be Our Powers?

    The reading time for Mighty Be Our Powers varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Mighty Be Our Powers a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Mighty Be Our Powers is a compelling read that showcases the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It's definitely worth reading!

    Who is the author of Mighty Be Our Powers?

    Leymah Gbowee with Carol Mithers