"No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium." —Bill McKibben A book as powerful and influential as Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, her Hope in the Dark was written to counter the despair of radicals at a moment when they were focused on their losses and had turned their back to the victories behind them—and the unimaginable changes soon to come. In it, she makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argued that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next. Now, with a moving new introduction explaining how the book came about and a new afterword that helps teach us how to hope and act in our unnerving world, she brings a new illumination to the darkness of 2016 in an unforgettable new edition of this classic book. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.
A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of Men Explain Things to Me Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.
A startling investigation of what people do in disasters and why it matters Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster? whether manmade or natural?people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? What makes the newfound communities and purpose many find in the ruins and crises after disaster so joyous? And what does this joy reveal about ordinarily unmet social desires and possibilities? In A Paradise Built in Hell, award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories.
“Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.” —The New Republic “Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.” —Elle Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books including the international bestseller Men Explain Things to Me. Called “the voice of the resistance” by the New York Times, she has emerged as an essential guide to our times, through incisive commentary on feminism, violence, ecology, hope, and everything in between. In this powerful and wide-ranging collection of essays, Solnit turns her attention to the war at home. This is a war, she says, “with so many casualties that we should call it by its true name, this war with so many dead by police, by violent ex-husbands and partners and lovers, by people pursuing power and profit at the point of a gun or just shooting first and figuring out who they hit later.” To get to the root of these American crises, she contends that “to acknowledge this state of war is to admit the need for peace,” countering the despair of our age with a dose of solidarity, creativity, and hope.
Author: Studs Terkel
Publisher: New Press/ORIM
Release Date: 2012-03-20
America’s most inspirational voices, in their own words: “If you’re looking for a reason to act and dream again, you’ll find it in the pages of this book” (Chicago Tribune). Published when Studs Terkel was ninety-one years old, this astonishing oral history tackles one of the famed journalist’s most elusive subjects: Hope. Where does it come from? What are its essential qualities? How do we sustain it in the darkest of times? An alternative, more personal chronicle of the “American century,” Hope Dies Last is a testament to the indefatigable spirit that Studs has always embodied, and an inheritance for those who, by taking a stand, are making concrete the dreams of today. A former death row inmate who served nearly twenty years for a crime he did not commit discusses his never-ending fight for justice. Tom Hayden, author of The Port Huron Statement, contemplates the legacy of 1960s student activism. Liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith reflects on the enduring problem of corporate malfeasance. From a doctor who teaches his young students compassion to the retired brigadier general who flew the Enola Gay over Hiroshima, these interviews tell us much about the power of the American dream and the force of individuals who advocate for a better world. With grace and warmth, Terkel’s subjects express their secret hopes and dreams. Taken together, this collection of interviews tells an inspiring story of optimism and persistence, told in voices that resonate with the eloquence of conviction. “The value of Hope Dies Last lies not in what it teaches readers about its narrow subject, but in the fascinating stories it reveals, and the insight it allows into the vast range of human experience.” —The A.V. Club “Very Terkelesque—by now the man requires an adjective of his own.” —Margaret Atwood, The New York Times Review of Books “An American treasure.” —Cornel West
Author: Rebecca Solnit
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2014-06-06
"A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book."—Larry McMurtry In 1851, a war began in what would become Yosemite National Park, a war against the indigenous inhabitants. A century later–in 1951–and a hundred and fifty miles away, another war began when the U.S. government started setting off nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site. It was called a nuclear testing program, but functioned as a war against the land and people of the Great Basin. In this foundational book of landscape theory and environmental thinking, Rebecca Solnit explores our national Eden and Armageddon and offers a pathbreaking history of the west, focusing on the relationship between culture and its implementation as politics. In a new preface, she considers the continuities and changes of these invisible wars in the context of our current climate change crisis, and reveals how the long arm of these histories continue to inspire her writing and hope.
Author: Rebecca Solnit
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Social Science
A multidisciplinary compilation of nineteen incisive essays ranges from the formality of traditional art criticism to intimate, lyrical meditations as they explore nuclear test sites, the meaning of national borders and geographical features, and the idea of the feminine and the sublime.
"A brilliant meditation on travel."—The New York Times In this acclaimed exploration of the culture of others, Rebecca Solnit travels through Ireland, the land of her long-forgotten maternal ancestors. A Book of Migrations portrays in microcosm a history made of great human tides of invasion, colonization, emigration, nomadism and tourism. Enriched by cross-cultural comparisons with the history of the American West, A Book of Migrations carves a new route through Ireland's history, literature and landscape.
Author: Rebecca Solnit
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2008-05-01
An anthology of nearly forty essays, representing the author's work over the past ten years, offers an insightful overview of American politics, current affairs, culture, society, and history, written from the perspective of a noted environmentalist, anti-globalization activist, and public intellectual. By the author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost.
Author: Rebecca Solnit
Publisher: Trinity University Press
Release Date: 2014-10-28
Genre: Social Science
The incomparable Rebecca Solnit, author of more than a dozen acclaimed, prizewinning books of nonfiction, brings the same dazzling writing to the essays in Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness. As the title suggests, the territory of Solnit’s concerns is vast, and in her signature alchemical style she combines commentary on history, justice, war and peace, and explorations of place, art, and community, all while writing with the lyricism of a poet to achieve incandescence and wisdom. Gathered here are celebrated iconic essays along with little-known pieces that create a powerful survey of the world we live in, from the jungles of the Zapatistas in Mexico to the splendors of the Arctic. This rich collection tours places as diverse as Haiti and Iceland; movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring; an original take on the question of who did Henry David Thoreau’s laundry; and a searching look at what the hatred of country music really means. Solnit moves nimbly from Orwell to Elvis, to contemporary urban gardening to 1970s California macramé and punk rock, and on to searing questions about the environment, freedom, family, class, work, and friendship. It’s no wonder she’s been compared in Bookforum to Susan Sontag and Annie Dillard and in the San Francisco Chronicle to Joan Didion. The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness proves Rebecca Solnit worthy of the accolades and honors she’s received. Rarely can a reader find such penetrating critiques of our time and its failures leavened with such generous heapings of hope. Solnit looks back to history and the progress of political movements to find an antidote to despair in what many feel as lost causes. In its encyclopedic reach and its generous compassion, Solnit’s collection charts a way through the thickets of our complex social and political worlds. Her essays are a beacon for readers looking for alternative ideas in these imperiled times.
In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters. She ends on a serious note— because the ultimate problem is the silencing of women who have something to say, including those saying things like, “He’s trying to kill me!” This book features that now-classic essay with six perfect complements, including an examination of the great feminist writer Virginia Woolf ’s embrace of mystery, of not knowing, of doubt and ambiguity, a highly original inquiry into marriage equality, and a terrifying survey of the scope of contemporary violence against women. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.
A stimulating exploration of wandering, being lost, and the uses of the unknown from the author of Men Explain Things To Me Written as a series of autobiographical essays, A Field Guide to Getting Lost draws on emblematic moments and relationships in Rebecca Solnit's life to explore issues of uncertainty, trust, loss, memory, desire, and place. Solnit is interested in the stories we use to navigate our way through the world, and the places we traverse, from wilderness to cities, in finding ourselves, or losing ourselves. While deeply personal, her own stories link up to larger stories, from captivity narratives of early Americans to the use of the color blue in Renaissance painting, not to mention encounters with tortoises, monks, punk rockers, mountains, deserts, and the movie Vertigo. The result is a distinctive, stimulating voyage of discovery. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A companion to A Field Guide for Getting Lost explores the ways that people construct lives from stories and connect to each other through empathy, narrative and imagination, sharing illustrative anecdotes about historical figures and members of her own family. By the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of River of Shadows.
The world as we know it today began in California in the late 1800s, and Eadweard Muybridge had a lot to do with it. This striking assertion is at the heart of Rebecca Solnit’s new book, which weaves together biography, history, and fascinating insights into art and technology to create a boldly original portrait of America on the threshold of modernity. The story of Muybridge—who in 1872 succeeded in capturing high-speed motion photographically—becomes a lens for a larger story about the acceleration and industrialization of everyday life. Solnit shows how the peculiar freedoms and opportunities of post–Civil War California led directly to the two industries—Hollywood and Silicon Valley—that have most powerfully defined contemporary society.