- We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. [Martin Luther King, Jr., “A letter from Birmingham jail,” (1963).]
To intervene on behalf of another: to interpose ourselves in the path of a hostile force; to take a risk to change the course of events in service of the well-being of others.
One way to intervene is to treat or assist someone with a disability. For many years after autism became a medical diagnosis, people believed it was untreatable. Through determination and devotion, a few parents and mental health professionals proved that this view was incorrect. Their stories are inspiring.
- Catherine Maurice, Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph Over Autism (Knopf, 1993).
- Leeann Whiffen, A Child's Journey Out of Autism: One Family's Story of Living in Hope (Sourcebooks, 2009).
- Jenny McCarthy, Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism (Dutton Adult, 2007).
- Jenny McCarthy, Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds (Dutton Adult, 2005).
- Fabian Klose, ed., The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas and Practice from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
- Joshua James Kassler, Rwanda and the Moral Obligation of Human Intervention (Edinburgh University Press, 2014).
- Julia Flynn Siler, The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown (Knopf, 2019): “In her determination to avoid offenses against multiculturalism, Siler presents a less than comprehensive view of her subject.”
- Robert Kagan, The Ghost at the Feast: America and the Collapse of World Order, 1900-1941 (Knopf, 2023): “In a series of nimble polemics, and in expansive, finely wrought historical works, Kagan has spun variations on his theme: America’s unfolding purpose is to be the world’s organizing power, it owes this sense of mission to deeply ingrained American ideals, and the chief threat to this will-to-primacy comes not from without, but from within.”
- Steven Kendrick and Paul Kendrick, Nine Days: The Race to Save Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Life and and Win the 1960 Election (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2021): “The story begins in mid-October 1960 with Martin Luther King Jr.’s incarceration (his first) in a Georgia jail cell and ends three weeks later with John F. Kennedy’s narrow victory over Richard M. Nixon in the most competitive presidential election of the 20th century.”
From the dark side:
- Patrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Doubleday, 2019), “ . . . about what became known as the Troubles, and the people who caused or were caught in the Troubles.” (not speaking out)
Technical and Analytical Readings
Now that people have learned that autism can be treated, a scientific practice has emerged.
- Bryan Jepson, Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Patients and Physicians (Sentient Publications, 2007).
- Jacquelyn McCandless, Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder (Bramble Books, 2009).
- Ellen Notbohm, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew (Future Horizons, 2005).
- Michael H. Katz, Evaluating Clinical and Public Health Interventions: A Practical Guide to Study Design and Statistics (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Arguments for dissent:
- Cass R. Sunstein, Why Societies Need Dissent (Harvard University Press, 2003).
- Nicolaus Mills and Walter Salzer, 50 Years of Dissent (Yale University Press, 2004).
Early childhood intervention:
- Jack P. Shankoff, Samuel J. Meisels and Edward F. Zigler, eds.,Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2000).
- Maurice A. Feldman, ed.,Early Intervention: The Essential Readings (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003).
- Marilyn Sass-Lehrer, ed., Early Intervention for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2015).
- Kenneth Yeager and Albert Roberts, eds.,Crisis Intervention Handbook: Assessment, Treatment, and Research (Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 2015).
- Richard K. James and Burl E. Gilliland,Crisis Intervention Strategies (Brooks Cole, 8th edition, 2016).
- James E. Hendricks and Cindy S. Hendricks,Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice/Social Service (Charles C. Thomas Pub., Ltd., 5th edition, 2005).
By military means:
- L. Holzgrefe and Robert O. Keohane,Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
- Thomas G. Weiss,Humanitarian Intervention (Polity, 3rd edition, 2016).
- Aiden Hehir,Humanitarian Intervention: An Introduction (Palgrave MacMillan, 2nd edition, 2013).
- Anne Orford, Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
- Rajon Menon, The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
- Séverine Autesserre,Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
- Peter T. Coleman, Morton Deutsch and Eric C. Marcus, eds., The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (Jossey-Bass, 3rd edition, 2014).
Film and Stage
- Schindler’s List: the historical drama about Oskar Schindler’s heroism in risking his life to save Jews in Nazi Germany
- Sophie Scholl: three young Germans try to oppose Hitler
- The Search: American soldiers try to save lost children of Europe after World War II
- 101 Dalmations, the animated film about rescuing Dalmation pups who have been kidnapped by the aptly named Cruella De Vil
Fictional accounts of intervention:
- Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451 (1953).
- Dai Sijie, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (Knopf, 2001).
- Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s List (Simon & Schuster, 1994), an historical novel
- Jacques-Louis David, Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799)