Rebecca Solnit knows that words matter, and she wields them with respect. While reading this collection of essays, I underlined pretty much every sentence — it's just that good! Slim but beautifully written, this provides a new and much-needed perspective on the events we are experiencing at this moment in American history. I came away inspired and energized, no small feat right now. Recommended By Leah C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Rebecca Solnit unearths the roots of our contemporary crises, countering the despair of our age with a dose of solidarity, creativity, and hope.
“Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.” — The New Republic
“Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.” — Elle
Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books, including the international bestseller Men Explain Things to Me. Called “the voice of the resistance” by the New York Times, she has emerged as an essential guide to our times, through her incisive commentary on feminism, violence, ecology, hope, and everything in between.
In this powerful and wide-ranging collection, Solnit turns her attention to battles over meaning, place, language, and belonging at the heart of the defining crises of our time. She explores the way emotions shape political life, electoral politics, police shootings and gentrification, the life of an extraordinary man on death row, the pipeline protest at Standing Rock, and the existential threat posed by climate change.
The work of changing the world sometimes requires changing the story, the names, and inventing or popularizing new names and terms and phrases. Calling things by their true names can also cut through the lies that excuse, disguise, avoid, or encourage inaction, indifference, obliviousness in the face of injustice and violence.
“Solnit [is] a powerful cultural critic: as always, she opts for measured assessment and pragmatism over hype and hysteria.” Publishers Weekly
“Solnit is careful with her words (she always is) but never so much that she mutes the infuriated spirit that drives these essays.” Kirkus (Starred Review)
“A searing and super smart call-to-arms that takes on a range of social and political problems in America — from racism and misogyny to climate change and Donald Trump — Call Them by Their True Names features Solnit’s signature wit, humor, honesty, and incisive commentary, and beneath it all, a focus on progress and hope.” Poets & Writers
About the Author
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both with Haymarket Books; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a regular contributor to the Guardian.