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Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization

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Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization Cover

ISBN13: 9781596911031
ISBN10: 1596911034
Condition: Student Owned
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Publisher Comments:

An intimate and powerful account of living in Bolivia during a time of crisis and change.

Long the obscure “Tibet of South America,” Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid worker. CNN and the New York Times have shown images of Aymara women in bowler hats standing down tanks; citizen protests have ousted multinationals and two pro-globalization presidents. In A Natural Nation, Powers breathes life into the recent struggles of the Bolivian people. When he arrives in the rainforest, he meets an extraordinary Chiquitano Indian named Salvador who is fighting the extinction of his people. At the same time, the clock ticks for three multinational energy companies forced to curb global warming. Both goals depend upon the survival of a stretch of pristine jungle. But as Indians and oil giants join to launch the worlds largest Kyoto Protocol project—using forests to absorb dangerous planetary greenhouse gasses—Salvadors life is threatened by loggers collaborating with a racist Bolivian oligarchy. The quest for a single rainforest is subsumed in a movement of national liberation. A Natural Nation goes beneath the headlines, gracefully weaving memoir, travel, history and reportage into an unforgettable chronicle of a “poor little rich country” attempting to engage the world without losing its soul.

William Powers has worked for over a decade in development aid in Latin America, Africa, Washington, D.C., and Native North America. His project in the Bolivian Amazon won a 2003 prize for environmental innovation from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is author of the Liberia memoir Blue Clay People.
Long the obscure "Tibet of South America," in the last few years Bolivia has emerged as a world flashpoint. CNN and The New York Times have shown images of Aymara women in bowler hats standing down tanks; citizen protests have ousted multinationals and two pro-globalization presidents. In December 2005 Bolivians elected the first fully Indian president in the hemisphere. As an aid worker, William Powers has been an eyewitness—and frequent participant
—as this resource-rich money-poor country has struggled to save its Indian culture and its extraordinary rainforest, proving that an impoverished Third World country can be green.
 
When he arrives in the rainforest, he meets a dynamic Chiquitano Indian named Salvador who is fighting the extinction of his people. At the same time, the clock ticks for three multinational energy companies forced to curb global warming. Both goals depend upon the survival of a stretch of pristine jungle. But as Indians and oil giants join to launch the world's largest Kyoto Protocol project, Salvador's life is threatened by loggers collaborating with a racist Bolivian oligarchy. The quest for a single rainforest is subsumed in a movement of national liberation. Whispering in the Giant's Ear weaves memoir, travel, history, and reportage into an unforgettable chronicle of a nation attempting to engage the world without losing its soul.
"[A] piquant and provocative report on his work with Bolivia's largest conservation organization. Writing with self-deprecating humor and fluid understanding of the complex dynamics at work in this persistently poor land, Powers exposes the environmental and cultural destruction wrought by multinationals and the corresponding—and quite remarkable—uprisings of Bolivia's indigenous peoples in defense of the rain forests, their physical and spiritual home and the habitat for endangered species. Bolivia is the site of the world's largest Kyoto Protocol rain-forest experiment and pioneering debt-for-nature and carbon-credit projects, and Powers is keenly sensitive to the realities, possibilities, and paradoxes inherent in Bolivia's revolutionary politics and environmental innovations. By profiling a courageous and pragmatic Indian activist, tracking complicated disputes over land ownership and use, and detailing such green endeavors as 'eco-wood' production, Powers chronicles Bolivia's success, against all odds, in leading the way toward creation of biosphere-sustaining and socially just societies."—Donna Seaman, Booklist
"Powers wrote about his experiences helping manage sustainable development projects in Liberia in Blue Clay People and now presents a piquant and provocative report on his work with Bolivia's largest conservation organization. Writing with self-deprecating humor and fluid understanding of the complex dynamics at work in this persistently poor land, Powers exposes the environmental and cultural destruction wrought by multinationals and the corresponding—and quite remarkable—uprisings of Bolivia's indigenous peoples in defense of the rain forests, their physical and spiritual home and the habitat for endangered species. Bolivia is the site of the world's largest Kyoto Protocol rain-forest experiment and pioneering debt-for-nature and carbon-credit projects, and Powers is keenly sensitive to the realities, possibilities, and paradoxes inherent in Bolivia's revolutionary politics and environmental innovations. By profiling a courageous and pragmatic Indian activist, tracking complicated disputes over land ownership and use, and detailing such green endeavors as 'eco-wood' production, Powers chronicles Bolivia's success, against all odds, in leading the way toward creation of biosphere-sustaining and socially just societies."—Donna Seaman, Booklist
 
"During the last five years, the struggles of Bolivia's indigenous community against government corruption and globalization have garnered unprecedented visibility for the nation around the world. As an aid worker living in Bolivia, Powers did not just witness the change; he was immersed in the action, forced to juggle the country's internal conflict with his environmental organization's mission of saving the rain forest. By 'thinking locally and acting globally,' he forges a delicate partnership with Indians and multinational energy corporations to designate a swath of the Amazon forest for absorbing greenhouse gases. While matters of politics and the environment provide the framework for the book, much of the story is focused on the friendships he builds through genuine curiosity and emotion as he attempts to truly understand the needs of the people around him. What results is a deeply personal and informative chronicle of Powers's ambitions, the Indians' ambitions and perhaps most importantly in a country as physically diverse and dramatic as Bolivia, nature's ambitions . . . The book succeeds in using the country's recent history to reveal how the worldwide battle for increased economic equality and environmental conservation operates locally."—Publishers Weekly

Book News Annotation:

Based on his experiences living in Bolivia from 2001 to 2005, the author describes how the indigenous people of the Latin American country are confronting neoliberal globalization and producing their own alternatives presaging a "green globalization," in which economically poor but ecologically rich countries might thrive "through producing certified timber, ecotourism, and carbon ranching, and cultural services such as alpaca and llama products, native weavings, and ethnotourism." He frames his narrative through the story of his unfolding relationship with a single Amazonian Indian, which links together his three themes of an Amazon tribe struggling to survive, a nation overcoming oppression and constructing a new identity, and a global community pioneering green globalization through "the world's largest Kyoto Protocol experiment." Distributed in the US by Holtzbrinck Publishers. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Long the obscure "Tibet of South America," Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid worker. CNN and the

Synopsis:

An intimate and powerful account of living in Bolivia during a time of crisis and change.

Long the obscure "Tibet of South America," Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid worker. CNN and the New York Times have shown images of Aymara women in bowler hats standing down tanks; citizen protests have ousted multinationals and two pro-globalization presidents. In A Natural Nation, Powers breathes life into the recent struggles of the Bolivian people. When he arrives in the rainforest, he meets an extraordinary Chiquitano Indian named Salvador who is fighting the extinction of his people. At the same time, the clock ticks for three multinational energy companies forced to curb global warming. Both goals depend upon the survival of a stretch of pristine jungle. But as Indians and oil giants join to launch the world's largest Kyoto Protocol project--using forests to absorb dangerous planetary greenhouse gasses--Salvador's life is threatened by loggers collaborating with a racist Bolivian oligarchy. The quest for a single rainforest is subsumed in a movement of national liberation. A Natural Nation goes beneath the headlines, gracefully weaving memoir, travel, history and reportage into an unforgettable chronicle of a "poor little rich country" attempting to engage the world without losing its soul.

About the Author

William Powers has worked for over a decade in development aid in Latin America, Africa, Washington, D.C., and Native North America. His project in the Bolivian Amazon won the 2003 Harvard University JFK School prize for innovation. He is author of the Liberia memoir Blue Clay People, and contributor to two recent books on tropical biodiversity. His essays have appeared in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune, and he provides commentary for World Vision Radio and NPR. Powers, who is still based in Bolivia, is 2004-2005 recipient of the Open Door Foundation fellowship for nonfiction

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

rfresh, May 29, 2009 (view all comments by rfresh)
An excellent primer on Bolivia, rainforest conservation and indigenous movements.
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Lehmanmo, October 10, 2008 (view all comments by Lehmanmo)
Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization by William Powers. I found out more information about him on his website: www.williampowersbooks.com. The book covers the author's experiences on the ground in Bolivia over the country's dramatic last five years. The book is eloquently written, filled with anecdotes from Mr. Powers' time there, and many other essential details one should know when visiting this lesser known place. This book provides a highly readable history of Bolivia and its current challenges. Additionally, it provides a detailed look into the relationship between a "gringo" do-gooder and the locals. It's a must read for anyone planning on visiting Bolivia any time soon.
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nfpatete, September 10, 2006 (view all comments by nfpatete)
This books teaches about human recovery on what today can only be a global level. Powers writes about a personal journey he is able to take to find meaning in his life. He does so by riding on the shirttails of Bolivia's journey to keep the natural wonders it hasn't destroyed and bring its native peoples out of poverty into central rule, without resorting to violence. This, in a society that historically has governed through oppression, violence, and torture. Powers, a fundamental environmentalist, feels the 'oxygen' of a nature park he stands in. He is not ashamed to convey to the busy dot.com reader that his commitment to environmental preservation is spiritual and that the environmental preservaton movement is a quest for both economic survival and spiritual growth. I have no idea who the giant is and what the whispering is about. However, the metaphor radiates out there like the living rings of Bolivia's cities. But that's okay; this is not a humble book but it is a simple book. The author's loves and friendships are woven into the autonomy movement of the indigenous. His love relationship with a Bolivian woman can't survive the movement. But his friendship with a native leader shows him he can commit to the movement and family at the same time. A moving part of the book involves the visit of his parents to his Bolivian outpost. They are loving people but not idealized. Powers made them a tribute to his journey. A key to Powers' growth and talent is one of extraction, of their love for him and each other. Another telling segment in the book is Powers' reaction to America on a return visit. Having flown in from one of poorest countries on earth, he enters by contrast one of the shallowest, and it is ours. There's much to take away from this this telling on many levels.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596911031
Author:
Power, William
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Powers, William D.
Author:
Powers, William
Subject:
South America
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Sustainable Development
Subject:
Indians of south america
Subject:
South America - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
TRAVEL / South America
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20060531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.16x6.08x.85 in. .95 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Latin America » Bolivia
History and Social Science » Social Science » Developing Countries
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » South America
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Travel » South America » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596911031 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Long the obscure "Tibet of South America," Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid worker. CNN and the
"Synopsis" by ,
An intimate and powerful account of living in Bolivia during a time of crisis and change.

Long the obscure "Tibet of South America," Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid worker. CNN and the New York Times have shown images of Aymara women in bowler hats standing down tanks; citizen protests have ousted multinationals and two pro-globalization presidents. In A Natural Nation, Powers breathes life into the recent struggles of the Bolivian people. When he arrives in the rainforest, he meets an extraordinary Chiquitano Indian named Salvador who is fighting the extinction of his people. At the same time, the clock ticks for three multinational energy companies forced to curb global warming. Both goals depend upon the survival of a stretch of pristine jungle. But as Indians and oil giants join to launch the world's largest Kyoto Protocol project--using forests to absorb dangerous planetary greenhouse gasses--Salvador's life is threatened by loggers collaborating with a racist Bolivian oligarchy. The quest for a single rainforest is subsumed in a movement of national liberation. A Natural Nation goes beneath the headlines, gracefully weaving memoir, travel, history and reportage into an unforgettable chronicle of a "poor little rich country" attempting to engage the world without losing its soul.

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