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In a time when you can’t bring a bottle of Deer Park aboard an airplane, nonviolent protest seems about as contemporary as the Jim Crow apartheid it helped dismantle. To the list of questions the War on Terror has raised—“Where’s Osama?,” “Where are the WMD?,” and “How are we going to win these midterm elections?”—add this one: “Who gives a fuck about Mahatma Ghandi?” One wonders how the cotton-spinning Indian icon, who some say suggested mass suicide to Jews staring down the barrel of Nazi holocaust, would handle al-Qaeda. All the more reason to pick up Mark Kurlansky’s Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea. Given the strife in Iran, Iraq, Darfur, North Korea, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere, Kurlansky’s distillation of ahimsa into chestnuts (W. should note that “The longer a war lasts, the less popular it becomes”) may emerge as a brutally important book. Kurlansky discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133. (Justin Moyer)