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Book Review: Sweet Fruit From The Bitter Tree: 61 Stories of Creative and Compassionate Ways Out of Conflict by Mark Andreas

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Sweet Fruit From The Bitter Tree: 61 Stories of Creative and Compassionate Ways Out of Conflict by Mark Andreas is an ingenious collection of stories on how to deflect great conflict in a variety of practical situations. Many of the stories in this book come from in-depth interviews and personal accounts of participants. The situations range from bar brawls to entering the ancient city of An Najaf. The stories in this book are not case studies. They are life itself. It is noteworthy to point out that Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectuals solve problems. Geniuses prevent them.”

Occasionally, Sweet Fruit From The Bitter Tree has timeless pearls of wisdom from places as far away in time and place as ancient China. An example is a famous quote from Sun Tzu: “For, to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

The story of An Najaf was very revealing. The objective of our military was to neutralize opposition in the city so that our military could capture Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen fighters. Too often, disaster prevention is not appreciated because the catastrophic event never happens in the instant case. And so, prevention isn’t always rewarded.

Fedayeen Saddam was a paramilitary organization loyal to Saddam Hussein. The name meant literally “Saddam’s Men of Sacrifice.” Fedayeen Saddam was one of the most unpopular Iraqi paramilitary groups stemming back to the successful Operation Desert Storm. This group was a violent security organization used mostly to crush dissent in Iraq and thwart American forces.

An important tenet of the masses is that Arabs respect a man who turns his back on an aggressor without fear. In addition, it is a show of respect to place your right hand over the heart and slightly bow as a show of respect. After our entering forces did a combination of these things in An Najaf, the Ayatollah Sistani issued a formal fatwa to the people of Najaf: “Do not interfere with the American forces entering Iraq, Praise be to Allah, Grand Ayatollah Sistani of the Mosque of Ali.”

Sweet Fruit From The Bitter Tree is a wonderful book which covers many modes of behavior that are not written down in any one book. Some wise people can glean these things by the shear act of living life, experiencing the downside of conflict and, hopefully, learning.

The presentation is excellent because Mark Andreas relates these
types of experiences in order to provide readers with viable alternatives to conflict. These strategies have been tested and found to work in implementation. All Americans should read this book.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.