Larry Johnson wrote the following review in the Minneapolis/St. Paul VETERANS FOR PEACE CHAPTER 27 Spring 2019 Newsletter, page 13:
Maverick Priest is the life of Father Harry Bury
by Larry Johnson
Maverick Priest is the story of a 90-year-old peace activist, still going 90 on the freeway of life. It’s big and heavy, but you can’t put it down. Peace and justice books, often filled with comprehensive analysis and much needed truth, sadly, are too often read only by the already converted. This one holds interest even to those who think differently.
In the late 60s, I was in the broadcast program at the U of M, working with a group getting credit to make anti-war radio documentaries. Being the only one with perceived connection to religion and Christianity, I was sent over several times to interview Father Bury, a leader in the campus questioning the War in Vietnam. When he reappeared in the Twin Cities a few years back, I wondered what’s been going on since I graduated and was drafted as a Conscientious Objector unarmed medic in 1970. This book answers that question with inspiration for all to fight for peace and justice.
In 1971 Bury and three others chained themselves to the U.S. Embassy Wall in Vietnam, hoping to make the case to stop the war. The war waged on, but opportunities to go to graduate school and teach in the Twin Cities faltered, as Honeywell was a major funder at too many potential colleges.
Bury did graduate work in Cleveland, and ended up at Baldwin Wallace, teaching socially conscious business, including in several developing countries. He also returned three times to Vietnam: 1987 – Arguing for an end to the Embargo, so the Vietnamese could do business and thrive; 1994 – Had difficulty getting a visa, because when the embargo was finally lifted anyone coming in from the U.S. was immediately suspected as a spy; 2014 – On a mission for prison reform, met a South Vietnamese Major who said he was in the same class at SOA with Saddam Hussein and Colin Powell (not the sort of thing those in charge generally want people to know).
Along the way there is reference to friends like George Mische and Frank Kroncke. There’s the story of being abducted in Gaza, getting bureaucratically busted for opening a U.S. account for Mother Teresa’s work here, and Peter, Paul, and Mary (with Paul absent) doing benefit concerts to help continue Fr. Bury’s peace work.
Toward the end of the book is a significant quote from Saul Alinsky: “If you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless, and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetuated by such religious, political, and racial fanatics.”
It sounds like I’ve told you a lot, but these are just some highlights. Please sit down and let the book envelop and excite you through the full journey. You can get it at Amazon, or have Mayday Books order it for you. Or www.harryjbury.com, or the publisher at www.rdrpublishers.com.