Synopses & Reviews
A classic exposand#233; in company with andlt;I andgt;An Inconvenient Truthandlt;/Iandgt; and andlt;I andgt;Silent Springandlt;/Iandgt;, andlt;I andgt;The Story of Stuffandlt;/Iandgt; expands on the celebrated documentary exploring the threat of overconsumption on the environment, economy, and our health. Leonard examines the and#8220;stuffand#8221; we use everyday, offering a galvanizing critique and steps for a changed planet.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt;The Story of Stuffandlt;/iandgt; was received with widespread enthusiasm in hardcover, by everyone from Stephen Colbert to Tavis Smiley to George Stephanopolous on andlt;iandgt;Good Morning Americaandlt;/iandgt;, as well as far-reaching print and blog coverage. Uncovering and communicating a critically important ideaand#8212;that there is an intentional system behind our patterns of consumption and disposaland#8212;Annie Leonard transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;From sneaking into factories and dumps around the world to visiting textile workers in Haiti and children mining coltan for cell phones in the Congo, Leonard, named one of andlt;iandgt;Time andlt;/iandgt;magazineand#8217;s 100 environmental heroes of 2009, highlights each step of the materials economy and its actual effect on the earth and the people who live near sites like these.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;With curiosity, compassion, and humor, Leonard shares concrete steps for taking action at the individual and political level that will bring about sustainability, community health, and economic justice. Embraced by teachers, parents, churches, community centers, activists, and everyday readers, andlt;iandgt;The Story of Stuffandlt;/iandgt; will be a long-lived classic.
“The intrepid Ann Leonard has written an eye-opening, humorous, and highly readable account of how our seemingly innocuous lifestyles are part of a larger system of destruction and dysfunction. Leonard gets my vote for hero of the year. A must-read.”
—Juliet B. Schor, author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth and professor of sociology at Boston College
“Where others have documented countless challenges to the Earth and its inhabitants, Annie Leonard has accomplished the rare feat of defining the systemic nature of the problems we face and offering solutions that get to the heart of the matter. Whether you are redesigning industry and commerce or simply imagining a better world for your grandchildren’s grandchildren, Annie’s work will engage you. Read it and be inspired into action.”
—Ray C. Anderson, founder and chairman, Interface, Inc.
“At once engaging, accessible, and authoritative, The Story of Stuff
is a brilliant masterwork. Leonard weaves together engaging personal stories and encyclopedic knowledge of her subject to communicate a powerful systemic frame and define a spot-on agenda for practical action. I gained new facts, ideas, and inspiration. It gets my highest and most enthusiastic recommendation for anyone interested in why we humans are on a path to self-destruction and what we can do about it.”
—David C. Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning and board chair of YES! magazine
“When Annie Leonard came to work at the Center for Study of Responsive Law, she brought a special character—a dynamic curiosity; a willingness to scour the countries of the Earth to understand and document solid and chemical wastes’ production, consumption, and disposal; the intellectual and emotional intelligence to mobilize everyone she could reach to respect the ecosphere; and health and safety concerns. Those dynamic energies permeate her galvanizing, exciting, and fascinating book. You will be bouncing up and down as you are drawn through its pages, graphics, and engrossing stories. Annie Leonard not only knows ‘the story of stuff’—she has the right stuff!”
Annie Leonard tracks the life of the "stuff" we use every day, transforming how we think about our patterns of consumption.
Americans have way too much Stuff ,
and way too much of it is toxic. Thats the message Annie Leonard has been spreading ever since her college days, and most recently in her short Internet film The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed by over 12 million people. But the film is only the tip of the iceberg.
This astonishing, inspiring book takes her message to an even higher level. In it she outlines the perils of overconsumption as she traces products back to their sources, through their life spans, and forward into their disposal. The Story of Stuff works on all levels as it brings together information on the environment, the economy, and cultures around the world.
With her trademark compassion, curiosity, and playfulness, Leonard gives firsthand accounts of sneaking into dumps and factories around the world; chronicles the lives of Haitian textile workers and Congolese kids working in deadly mines; shows how our health and well-being are compromised by neurotoxins in our pillows and lead in our childrens lunch boxes; and most important, tells us that this is not the way things have to be. She presents concrete steps for taking action that point the way toward saving our health, our communities, and the planet.
From high school kids to their parents in the suburbs, from government officials to people working in corporations, schools, and churches, The Story of Stuff is a life-changing book. Like Rachel Carsons Silent Spring, it will transform the way you think and act.
About the Author
is an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues, with more than 20 years of experience investigating factories and dumps around the world. She’s taking time off from her other work to write the book, but until recently she was coordinator of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, communicating worldwide about the impact of consumerism and materialism on global economies and international health. Annie’s efforts over the past two decades to raise awareness about international sustainability and environmental health issues has included work with Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance (GAIA), Health Care without Harm, Essential Information and Greenpeace International. She serves on the boards of GAIA, the International Forum for Globalization and the Environmental Health Fund.
Annie has written about international environmental issues for a range of public interest audiences and will step this up and broaden her reach with op eds and features around publication time. She’s appeared on radio and TV in the U.S. and other countries many times over the past 20 years. She had extensive media training and exposure during her tenure at Greenpeace. She’s testified in front of Congress, been interviewed on CNN, publicly debated a US State Department representative, and done hundreds of public presentations. In 2008, Annie was named one of Time magazine’s Heroes of the Environment.
Annie did her undergraduate studies at Barnard and graduate work in city and regional planning at Cornell. She has traveled to 40 countries, including Haiti, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and South Africa, in her work investigating and promoting anti-pollution issues internationally. Annie currently resides in California with her daughter.