On The Midnight Train: Moscow To Leningrad:  Memoir, Essays, Psychology, Poetry, Theater  About Profoundly Deep-Rooted Conflict And An Even More Fundamental Yearning For Peace

On The Midnight Train: Moscow To Leningrad: Memoir, Essays, Psychology, Poetry, Theater About Profoundly Deep-Rooted Conflict And An Even More Fundamental Yearning For Peace

  • Publish Date: 2017-04-11
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Skip Robinson Ph.D.
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Brief overview On the Midnight Train: Moscow to Leningrad begins with two chapters of international memoirs, written over time about our American teams conflict resolution teaching and learning overseas during crucial earlier change points in the U.S. relationship with Russia and Cuba. At those times, 26 years ago for Russia, leaders of both countries believed that the Cold War was apparently coming to an end. National leaders and media agreed. Regarding the Soviet Union and Russia, here was a time of fast-improving communication between our two countries and, on all sides, a growing feeling of hope for the future. Our conflict resolution team, from Tacomas National Center Associates, Inc., and the Conflict Resolution, Research, and Resource Institute, Inc., led by Bill Lincoln, had been invited to come to Leningrad (historically the capital city, St. Petersburg) to work hand-in-hand with a Soviet team to create a first week-long full-time seminar on democratic ecological conflict resolution. This first course of its kind there was to be for Russian professionals working in a number of disciplines, all concerned for how to work together to negotiate solutions for crucial ecological dangers. Our Russian counterparts, with whom we would work to build this cooperative seminar, worked in Leningrad at the countrys largest Planning Institute, which was responsible for the civic planning of about 500 cities. Ecological dangers were fast emerging there in ferocious and highly confusing dimensions. Our work there lasted several years and, in spite of the odds, led to creation of conflict resolution academic programs at quite a number of Russian universities. In 1995, our conflict resolution firm went to Cuba to co-develop in partnership with Cubas Diplomatic Corps a full-time seminar week with Cuban diplomats to cooperative in interest-based democratic conflict resolution for use in their negotiations with other countries. The seminar was to be held with nine American conflict resolution experts and about 30 members of the Republic of Cubas Diplomatic Corps, related Ministries, and diplomacy academics, as the Cuban Foreign Ministry prepared itself for deepening international change. In the midst of these memoirs, I have included five illustrative poems written on site during our work in Moscow, Leningrad, and Havana. On the Midnight Train begins with a poem written for the award-winning book, An Eye for An Eye Makes the Whole World Blind: Poets on 9/11. Then the first two chapters lay out the territory through memoir of our American negotiation training teams experience with our counterparts first in Russia and then Cuba as we searched together for clues about how to lessen and eliminate conflicts together. After building perspective by reading through the Russian and Cuban memoirs, the Midnight Train then provides three reflective chapters on many ways to develop a more systematic and skillful approach to resolving conflict with deeper dialogue through wider skills. Thoughts in these essay chapters point to more skill building in a systematic and interest-based approach to healing of conflict and suffering. In psychology, it explores how knowledge in contemporary humanistic, transpersonal, and democratic methods can contribute to a durable resolution. These chapters also compare critical differences between methods of traditional adversarial negotiations and newer cooperative skills-building and perspective-building approaches to healing negotiation. In this newer and more hopeful mix, a number of leading scholars and practitioners in conflict work and in psychology briefly share their helpful understandings. Finally, we can remember that the yearning for peace lies so deep in all of us, and this yearning can guide our way home.

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