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Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"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."and#151;Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

"Solnit's is an indispensable voice, and Storming the Gates of Paradise is the perfect introduction to her work."and#151;Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma

"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."and#151;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."and#151;Lucy R. Lippard, author of The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society

"Rebecca Solnit is reinventing the genre we call 'American nature writing,' 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."and#151;Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Synopsis:

This anthology of Solnits essential essays from the past ten years takes the reader from the Pyrenees to the U.S.-Mexican border, from open sky to the deepest mines and offers a panoramic world view enriched by the authors characteristically provocative, inspiring, and hopeful observations.

Synopsis:

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 todayand#8217;s street protests. The nearly forty essays collected here comprise a unique guidebook to the American landscape after the millenniumand#151;not just the deserts, skies, gardens, and wilderness areas that have long made up Solnitand#8217;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 bookand#8217;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 Solnitand#8217;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 Solnitand#8217;s thinking and offers the reader a panoramic world view enriched by her characteristically provocative, inspiring, and hopeful observations.

About the Author

Rebecca Solnit is the best-selling author of ten books and#150; among them Wanderlust, Savage Dreams, and Hollow City and#150; 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.

Table of Contents

List of Photographs

Introduction: Prisons and Paradises

1. Uneven Terrain: The West

The Red Lands

The Postmodern Old West, or the Precession of Cowboys and Indians

The Struggle of Dawning Intelligence: Creating, Revising, and Recognizing Native American Monuments

The Garden of Merging Paths

2. Borders and Crossers

A Route in the Shape of a Question

Thirty-Nine Steps Across the Border and Back

Nonconforming Uses: Teddy Cruz on Both Sides of the Border

3. Trouble Below: Mining, Water, and Nuclear Waste

The Price of Gold, the Value of Water

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Poison Pictures

4. Reaching for the Sky

Excavating the Sky

Drawing the Constellations

Hugging the Shadows

Justice by Moonlight

5. Landscapes of Resistance and Repression

Fragments of the Future: The FTAA in Miami

Jailbirds I Have Loves

Making It Home: Travels outside the Fear Economy

Mirror in the Street

Liberation Conspiracies

Sontag and Tsunami

6. Gardens and Wildernesses

Every Corner Is Alive: Eliot Porter as an Environmentalist and an Artist

The Botanical Circus, or Adventures in American Gardening

A Murder of Ravens: On Globalized Species

7. Womenand#8217;s Place

Tangled Banks and Clear-Cut Examples

Seven Stepping Stones down the Primrose Path: A Talk at a Conference on Landscape and Gender

Other Daughters, Other American Revolutions

8. Infernal Museums

California Comedy, or Surfing with Dante

The Wal-Mart Biennale

The Silence of the Lambswool Cardigans

Locked Horns

9. City at the End of the World

The Orbits of Earthly Bodies

San Francisco: The Metamorphosis

The Heart of the City

The Ruins of Memory

Gaping Questions

Coda: The Pacific

Seashell to Ear

Acknowledgments

Notes

Permissions

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520256569
Author:
Solnit, Rebecca
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Politics-Political Science
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20080531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 b/w photographs
Pages:
436
Dimensions:
8 x 6 x 1 in 1.01 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » Activism and Peace Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Political Science
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Probability and Statistics » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Probability and Statistics » Statistics
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics New Trade Paper
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Product details 436 pages University of California Press - English 9780520256569 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This anthology of Solnits essential essays from the past ten years takes the reader from the Pyrenees to the U.S.-Mexican border, from open sky to the deepest mines and offers a panoramic world view enriched by the authors characteristically provocative, inspiring, and hopeful observations.
"Synopsis" by ,
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 todayand#8217;s street protests. The nearly forty essays collected here comprise a unique guidebook to the American landscape after the millenniumand#151;not just the deserts, skies, gardens, and wilderness areas that have long made up Solnitand#8217;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 bookand#8217;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 Solnitand#8217;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 Solnitand#8217;s thinking and offers the reader a panoramic world view enriched by her characteristically provocative, inspiring, and hopeful observations.

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