"I am writing regarding the first memoir written and published by Lois Ann Nicolai. I encourage and support the publication of her memoir, and hope you read it from cover to cover.
I would like to tell you why this effort is important and valuable. Lois worked as a "citizen activist" for peace initiatives, in Europe and America. In these endeavors, as an unpaid volunteer, she wrote grants, encouraged various peace conferences, visited internationally, and hosted Russian and Eastern Europeans to visit America for demonstrations against nuclear testing.
In some of those travels, she met activists of her time, including the Berrigan Brothers, who were quite famous as the PlowsharesEight for their efforts to derail nuclear sites and activities.
All of us who know Lois knows that she is a great organizer. Those skills were important in the work she did as a CitizenActivist.
You might ask why Lois's memoir is important, given all of the publicity about nuclear testing and scholarly books about the history of this piece of world history. The answer is that Lois did her peace work completely as an unpaid volunteer. She figured out how to house European visitors and drive them across the country to the anti-nuke demonstrations. She convinced Bristol Myers Squibb to make a generous donation of anti-cancer drugs for children in Kazakhstan suffering from radiation diseases.
Why Lois's books? I am the author of several books, important books in my view, but those books are part of the academic enterprise, vetted and approved by numerous groups of people.
Lois's books are none of that, but they are even more important. The stories are detailed and amazingly personal, as we learn how this unpaid volunteer citizen activist went about the work of bringing citizens of diverse nations together. She serves as an example of what a person can do to make events happen, to change history, to show how an average citizen not employed by the government can impact the world.
I want my children and grandchildren to read this memoir, because it says that any citizen can play a role in changing history. It is a story that will inspire others."
- Reviewed by Barbara F. Nodine, PhD