The value of just one soul is greater than any single thing upon this earth. For there can be nothing greater than raising a child in preparation for that journey back to where he came from, a place where his immortal father lives, a place known as heaven, a place called home.

Richard Pelzer-in A Brother’s journey.

Surviving a childhood of Abuse

In A Child called “It,” Dave Pelzer described the terrible treatment he received at the hands of his mother and his brother Richard. Fortunately for Dave, he was removed from the Pelzer household by the time he was twelve years old.

But his mother needed a new scapegoat for her alcohol-fuelled wrath. Soon it was Richard who received nocturnal beating, had Tabasco sauce poured down his throat, and was kicked and slapped to the point of needing hospitalization. Yet, he survived. A BROTHER’S JOURNEY is the story of how one little boy found the courage to withstand years of physical abuse- and how the human spirit can triumph over even the most severe circumstances.


The book chronicles the many abuses, revealing the dynamics of s deeply dysfunctional family and the unholy alliances that often develop.

From a Reading journal perspective, the boy as he becomes a teenager, develops his identity and thinking power, tries to figure his parents out.

Page 167- in which he realizes that his mother was unhappy about being a parent., the time it took away from her,with Dad out of the house, she had no outlet for her twisted emotions.

Page 219-When Richard remembers his Dad-who passed away-and how the separation from loved ones the missing out on life’s events must have hurt him deeply.


1-Page-152-154– Perhaps Gram knew more about her daughter’s mental state than she let on

-Discuss the dynamics of the mother –grandmother in relation to the children

2-Discuss how relations with persons like Ben ( Early the next morning Ben called to check on me. It was nice knowing that people understood the situation and were concerned about me-Page 230) and Josh and family helped Richard. Compare it with the way the school institutions-junior grammar school and middle school handled this case.

DISCUSSION..Do you know of any cases of abuse which were covered by authorities or relatives?






Reason – Unreason.Nick Clegg’ s take


Nick Clegg..Politics: Between the extremes

Nick Clegg’ s book ,Politics: Between the extremes is an attempt to suggest how the politics of reason and reform – the politics of the centre ground – can compete with the politics of anger and grievance, which is on the rise across the developed world.

While discussing in a Reading group,in Libya, where we have a UN recognized Government of National Accord, we found very interesting Clegg’ s idea that a Government of National unity would be better able to handle contentious issues like immigration, pensions, inequality, nationalism.



Modern liberalism stems from the enlightenment, from the power of science, from the Reformation and the rejection of divine rule. At its heart is a belief that the individual – not the tribe, the community, the nation or the divine monarch – is sovereign and that, by way of reason, the liberty of the individual can be enhanced and protected.

The book goes through the inner workings of the Coalition government
giving good insight into the institutional, financial,political issues that have to be handled to get Reform


Clegg examines in good detail,the three areas where Liberals should work upon

1- Economic
3- Patriotism

Clegg argues against complacency as
this fails to recognise the growing threat that illiberal, extremist ideas can – when taken up by individuals with disturbed minds – provide the impetus for extreme political violence. He gives examples of
the slaying of forty-nine people in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on 12 June 2016 and the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in her Yorkshire constituency.

LESSONS TO LEARN…from deliberate violent targetting of the tolerant

When populists use dog whistles, some mad dogs will bark.


Clegg quotes American economist Robert Gordon ,who predicts that the future growth in consumption for the vast bulk of society – with only the richest exempt – could fall below 0.5 per cent per year, for an extended period of decades. His analysis is in part based on his scepticism about the benefits of the latest wave of digital innovation. Gordon argues – that these innovations are not nearly as significant for the productivity of the economy when compared to the inventions of previous technological revolutions, such as electricity, the internal combustion engine or even indoor toilets.


He studies the analysis of Reserve Bank of India Governor ,Raghuram Rajan

In essence, Raghuram Rajan, the Reserve Bank governor in India, and others, say that,as the rich have got richer and invested more of their money in savings and in assets, notably property, the stagnant wages of the poor are supplemented by ever-higher levels of borrowing. This cycle of asset-rich gains at the top and growing indebtedness at the bottom of society keeps the merry-go-round of demand and growth going for a while, but inevitably hits the buffers when borrowing becomes unsustainable, property bubbles burst and banking crises ensue.

In the BBC Hardtalk program, Stephen.Sackur had tried to argue that the Lib Dem participation in the Coalition was a huge mistake, for which Clegg’s leadership.was to blame.
Clegg had made the case that by joining the government, they had more leverage and had effected considerable changes which had long term.cindequences

In.the section.on Inequality, Clegg illustrates in.detail,two such areas.

People build up two main assets during their lifetime: a home and a pension. It is in these two areas that the greatest and most controversial reforms are needed.


The Lib Dems pioneered the
‘triple lock’ by which the state pension increases automatically by prices, wages or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.

The third greatest challenge that the politics of reason must meet is part cultural, part psychological: the need to create a shared sense of belonging, of modern patriotism, especially in the wake of the gaping divisions in society that were exposed by the EU referendum.

Clegg illustrates through examples of Scottish and English nationalism, while quoting Orwell, what liberalism can offer

An accommodation with plurality:

the idea that you can be any number of different things, identify with any number of different groups, and also be a patriotic liberal; that you can hail from different communities, faiths and viewpoints and yet share patriotic, bedrock belief in tolerance, human rights and open discourse.

Clegg’s well researched book, with insider insights is educative and can also find application in any Organization – business or Civil.society- where humans gather, as we always encounter extreme opinions, ( who know everything)

Open, moderate debate is a sign of strength, not weakness. Give-and-take is a sign of maturity, not feebleness. A faith in evidence in policy is a sign of rigour, not indecision.
USEFUL INSIGHTS: Reading group questions

Clegg as an insider of the liberal movement tells about Roy Jenkins.

Roy Jenkins is a hero of the liberal left for two reasons. The first is that he was the most liberal Home Secretary of the twentieth century, who, in just under two years in the Home Office in 1966 and 1967, oversaw the end of capital punishment and the legalisation of homosexuality and abortion.

TASK: Read this chapter, and state the points which Clegg uses by illustrating the political journeys of two different generations of Liberals.

Our views were formed not just by the harsh injustices of 1980s Conservatism, but by the rise and fall of New Labour between 1997 and 2010.

Question: After reading this section, tell what is the personal relation of Clegg to the Tenko, a series about the experience of British, Dutch and Australian women prisoner in a Japanese camp.


Politics: Between the extremes,Nick.Clegg


Dream from my father, Barack Obama


A Reading Journal