Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics
by Rebecca Solnit
AVAILABILITY: Usually ships within 2-5 days
Publication Date: 2007
Publisher: U of California Press
Binding: Hard bound
Topics: s, Corporate Rule, History: Local to Global, Militarism, Nature, Sexism / Patriarchy, Social Movements, United States
Description: Rebecca Solnit has made a vocation of journeying into difficult territory and reporting back, as an environmentalist, antiglobalization activist, and public intellectual. 'Storming the Gates of Paradise', an anthology of her essential essays from the past ten years, takes the reader from the Pyrenees to the U.S.-Mexican border, from San Francisco to London, from open sky to the deepest mines, and from the antislavery struggles of two hundred years ago to today's street protests. The nearly forty essays collected here comprise a unique guidebook to the American landscape after the millennium - not just the deserts, skies, gardens, and wilderness areas that have long made up Solnit's subject matter, but the social landscape of democracy and repression, of borders, ruins, and protests. She ventures into territories as dark as prison and as sublime as a broad vista, revealing beauty in the harshest landscape and political struggle in the most apparently serene view. Her introduction sets the tone and the book's overarching themes as she describes Thoreau, leaving the jail cell where he had been confined for refusing to pay war taxes and proceeding directly to his favorite huckleberry patch. In this way she links pleasure to politics, brilliantly demonstrating that the path to paradise has often run through prison.
These startling insights on current affairs, politics, culture, and history, always expressed in Solnit's pellucid and graceful prose, constantly revise our views of the otherwise ordinary and familiar. Illustrated throughout, 'Storming the Gates of Paradise' represents recent developments in Solnit's thinking and offers the reader a panoramic world view enriched by her characteristically provocative, inspiring, and hopeful observations.
Rebecca Solnit is the best-selling author of ten books - among them 'Wanderlust', 'Savage Dreams', and 'Hollow City' - and countless articles, for which she has received numerous awards and accolades. In 2003 she won the prestigious Lannan Literary Award. Also in 2003 she won the National Book Critics Circle Award for 'River of Shadows'.
Review(s): "Amongst the best American writers, Rebecca Solnit leads the 'don't mourn, organize' school. In the toxic deserts and suburban badlands of the West, she still finds seeds of paradise and futures redeemable by struggle. Neither lovesongs nor dirges, these remarkable essays are a genre of their own: imagine the intellectual acuity of Susan Sontag alloyed with the holy roar of Walt Whitman." - Mike Davis, author of 'Planet of Slums'
"Rebecca Solnit, like some of the places she writes about here, is a national treasure. At a time of reckless arrogance in high places, hers is a voice of moral clarity, wisdom about our country and planet, and impressive erudition that is lightly worn. This book is a tasting menu for the work of a mind and pen we are lucky to have." - Adam Hochschild, author of 'Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves'
"Solnit is, as she says, a memoirist, a journalist, and a critic, but first and foremost, she is a writer. The essays in 'Storming the Gates of Paradise', with their brilliant and all too rare interweaving of political acumen and passionate prose, prove that she is in fact the best landscape writer around. When she focuses on some of my favorite Western places, it's like revisiting them in good company, with sharpened eyes and mind." - Lucy Lippard, author of 'The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society'
"Rebecca Solnit is reinventing the genre we call 'American naturewriting,' finding provocative new ways to look at the intersections of landscape and politics. Hers is an indispensable voice, and 'Storming the Gates of Paradise' the perfect introduction to her work." - Michael Pollan, author of 'The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals'