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Hope In The Dark
Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. Canons
At a time when political, environmental and social gloom can seem overpowering, this remarkable book offers a lucid, affirmative and well-argued case for hope.
This exquisite work traces a history of activism and social change over the past five decades - from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the worldwide marches against the war in Iraq. Hope in the Dark is a paean to optimism in the uncertainty of the twenty-first century. Tracing the footsteps of the last century's thinkers - including Woolf, Gandhi, Borges, Benjamin and Havel - Solnit conjures a timeless vision of cause and effect that will light our way through the dark, and lead us to profound and effective political engagement.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
A short, elegant, passionate polemic on the history and future of progressive political engagement -- Robert Macfarlane Time and again Solnit comes running towards you with a bunch of hopes she has found and picked in the undergrowth of the times we are living in. And you remember that hope is not a guarantee for tomorrow but a detonator of energy for action today -- John Berger An intensely personal account, a meditation on activism and hope * * Guardian * * [Solnit] writes with poetic succinctness . . . Her capable way of converting the activism of the past into a blueprint to inspire political engagement in the future is as relevant today as when first published * * Sunday Mail * * Fascinating, inspiring and beautifully written -- George Monbiot Like Simon Schama, Solnit is a cultural historian in the desert-mystic mode, trailing ideas like swarms of butterflies * * Harper's * * Hope in the Dark is great. The powerful in this world seem to want to frighten us into following their orders unquestioningly and this book offers us the key to liberation - and that key is hope -- Tony Benn This is a book to be cherished, something to keep close at hand for those dark moments when you wonder whether the world really is a better place than it was 50 years ago * * Independent on Sunday * * A jewel of a book. Solnit reveals where we were, where we are, and the step-by-step advances that have been made in human rights, as we stubbornly stumble out of the darkness -- Studs Terkel Her passionate defence of direct action is a refreshingly corrective, while, crucially, her celebration of people power is proactive rather than complacent * * Metro * * In this extraordinary book, Rebecca Solnit's prose grows poetic wings that enable her to soar to a visionary height. The good news that she brings back is that our struggles-with persistence and courage-are indeed the seeds of kindness -- Mike Davis A slim, potent book penned in the wake of the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq; a book that has grown only more relevant and poignant in the decade since -- Maria Popova Rebecca Solnit is a national literary treasure: a passionate, close-to-the-ground reporter with the soul and voice of a philosopher-poet. And, unlike so many who write about the great injustices of this world, she is an optimist, whose faith is deeply grounded in a knowledge of history. This is a book to give you not just hope but zest for the battles ahead -- Adam Hoschschild Hope In the Dark changed my life. During a period of pervasive cynicism and political despair, the first edition of this book provided me with a model for activist engagement that I have held dear ever since. Today, as movements for climate, racial, and economic justice sweep the globe, its message is more relevant than ever -- Astra Taylor No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium. Rebecca Solnit writes as independently as Orwell; she's a great muralist, a Diego Rivera of words. Literary and progressive America is in a Solnit moment, which given her endless talent should last a very long time -- Bill McKibben