A grad school friend of mine from a few years back, Jen Abrahamson, has just written an unbelievably touching and all-around fantastic book about her friend Marla Ruzicka. It is called Sweet Relief: The Marla Ruzicka Story.
You may remember Marla as an activist who was sadly killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq at the age of 28. But not before she used her strength of will, charisma and intelligence to get the US congress to, for the first time ever, put aside funds for civilian victims of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. This story also is important in what it tells us about how we can lose the hearts and minds of those we are supposedly trying to save, by ignoring their pain when they become "collateral damage."
It is truly an inspirational story, and Jen is the perfect person to tell it, as an inspiration herself, and a terrific writer.
That is one reason to buy this book, for yourself or for a holiday gift for anyone and everyone you can think of. Another reason is that, in their usual lizard-brained manner, the right-wing intellectual loofahs in the blogosphere attacked Marla as anti-American, right after she was killed, because she tried to help victims of war who were CIVILIANS (yes, these are people who call themselves "pro-life").
This includes little moronic Ann-Coulter-wannabe Debbie Schlussel (sorry, I will link to Wikipedia which tells the story, but not her column, I don't link to trash), whose sickening attack on Ruzicka after her passing still makes my blood boil and is exactly the kind of thing that motivates me to continually carve up these miscreants on television and in print. Also self-hating, fat-ass former Commie David Horowitz.
So go grab a copy, or 5! You will not only love the book, but you'll piss off the soulless Schlussel and Horowitz.