Unbowed by Wangari Maathai
Reviewed by Jan Cottingham
"Wangari Maathai of Kenya has endured derision, death threats, imprisonment and beatings ? not so unusual for a Nobel Peace Prize winner. What is most astonishing about Maathai, the first environmentalist and first African woman to win the prize, is her lifelong refusal to be defined by anyone or anything other than herself. Maathai, 66, received the prize in 2004 for making a connection between environmental destruction, particularly deforestation, and human conflict. Known by many as the 'Tree Lady' and usually called Professor Maathai, she has lobbied not only to reverse environmental degradation but to put her chronically underemployed countrywomen and countrymen to work planting trees ? a project that evolved into the Green Belt Movement (GBM). The nonprofit's goal is to plant greenbelts of trees across Kenya and, eventually, across several other African countries; so far, more than 30 million have taken root...." Read the entire Ms. Magazine review.