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Unbowed: A Memoirby Wangari Maathai
Synopses & Reviews
Concrete and mesmerizing, Unbowed is the story of resistance, a refusal to be bowed down by oppression and humiliation in the pursuit of the excellent and the heroic in society. Wangari Maathai's story is more than that of one woman's struggles against the negative political and social conditions of her upbringing: it is also the story of Kenya, Africa, and the World. The environment she fights for is the totality of the ecological and social conditions of our being. Her life is a triumph of good over evil.
-Ngugi wa Thiong'o, author of Wizard of the Crow
This is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary woman's life. The courage, compassion and natural wisdom that shine out from these pages are hugely inspiring for campaigners the world over. And for those who are still struggling to find what 'sustainable development' really means in practice, you need look no further than Wangari Maathai's own life, and the astonishing success of the Green Belt Movement.
-Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future
Wangari Maathai's memoir is direct, honest, and beautifully written-a gripping account of modern Africa's trials and triumphs, a universal story of courage, persistence, and success against great odds in a noble cause.
Wangari Maathai is a prophet for our time and Unbowed is a call to arms for all of us who feel that the planet is overwhelmed by careless, corrupt or violent leadership. I have long suspected that the voice to lead us forward would come out of Africa, and it has - a voice of humor, sense, strength and compassion. Read this book and pass it on.
Wangari Maathai will be the first woman from Africa to be honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize. She will also be the first African from the vast area between South Africa and Egypt to be awarded the prize. She represents an example and a source of inspiration for everyone in Africa fighting for sustainable development, democracy and peace.
-The Norwegian Nobel Committee, 8 October 2004
My time with Wangari Maathai made me feel as if I had been given new eyes and an awakened soul . . . . To exude a sense of empowered peace . . . with historic brilliance and heroism while raising three children as a single mother in a country hostile to strong women is almost unimaginable . . . She should be the most celebrated woman in the world.
What is impressive and important about what Wangari and the Green Belt Movement have done is that they work on the environment in a way that ties it to economic empowerment- lifting people out of poverty. Such creative solutions need our support.
Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement demonstrate the intimate connection between sustainable management of Africa's rich natural resources, democracy, good governance and peace. Such are the solutions that will bring new light to Africa. I hope the world will support her vision of hope.
From the Hardcover edition.
The recipient of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize describes her life as a feminist, political activist, and environmentalist in Kenya, detailing her determination to receive an education despite the odds, her confrontations with the brutal Moi government, the 1977 establishment of the Green Belt Movement, her role in the transformation of Kenya's government, and her hope for the future. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.
In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya’s forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country. Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai’s remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come.
About the Author
Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya, in 1940. She is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which, through networks of rural women, has planted over thirty million trees across Kenya since 1977. In 2002, she was elected to Kenya’s Parliament in the first free elections in a generation, and in 2003, she was appointed assistant minister for the environment. She lives and works in Nairobi.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
Beginnings — Cultivation — Education and the state of emergency — American dream — Independence-Kenya's and my own — Foresters without diplomas — Difficult years — Seeds of change — Fighting for freedom — Freedom for Freedom — Freedom turns a corner — Aluta continua: the struggle continues — Opening the gates of politics — Rise up and walk.
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