My name is Jody Williams

Jody Williams is a fascinating individual. She's fascinating for any peace or human rights activist, but even more so for those of us who have researched disarmament campaigns in any depth such as the campaign to ban landmines. Our paths have crossed on many occasions, especially during the negotiation period for the treaty to prohibit cluster munitions. And, as other activists and diplomats can confirm, she is the kind of person who leaves a lasting impression on you.

That is exactly the impression you get from reading her biography. Written for a US reader, this extraordinarily charismatic girl from Vermont goes into detail once again in a self-critical work which she began with the publication of "Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy, and Human Security". Even though Williams has written about the genesis and evolution of the campaign before, on this occasion she goes into much greater detail. In this regard, the author describes herself as the 'bad cop' to explain her role during the negotiations which would eventually lead to the prohibition of landmines.

From a sincere and mature perspective, the author shares anecdotes associated with her strong personality, evident when she describes disagreements or arguments not only in her role as an activist, but also in her intimate personal life. In fact, the true novelty in this new book really is the whole personal dimension of her life, including her tales of romance, probably of less interest to the reader in search of diplomacy and civil society issues, in which Jody Williams is a figure to be reckoned with. In this regard, the reader can find useful first-hand reflections on leadership and the different manners in which to lead.

Perhaps, the most interesting aspect of her life is the fact that during her final years at university, Jody Williams' political conscience was practically non-existent; and it was the university of Life, stemming from a curiosity to discover how the world beyond the mundane day-to-day life, actually worked. This desire would assist her in becoming one of the 100 most influential women in the world today. The bottom line; any one of us can become a Nobel Peace Prize winning activist. Or at least, that is the message that leaps out at you from the pages of this autobiography. X.A.