Synopses & Reviews
With Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argues that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next.
Originally published in 2004, now with a new foreword and afterword, Solnit’s influential book shines a light into the darkness of our time in an unforgettable new edition.
"A slim, potent book penned in the wake of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq; a book that has grown only more relevant and poignant in the decade since." Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"Time and again she comes running towards you with a bunch of hopes she has found and picked in the undergrowth of the times we are living. And you remember that hope is not a guarantee for tomorrow, but a detonator of energy for action today." John Berger, author, Ways of Seeing
"Rebecca Solnit is a national literary treasure: a passionate, close-to-the-ground reporter with the soul and voice of a philosopher-poet. And, unlike so many who write about the great injustices of this world, she is an optimist, whose faith is deeply grounded in a knowledge of history. This is a book to give you not just hope but zest for the battles ahead." Adam Hochschild, author, King Leopold’s Ghost
"Hope In the Dark changed my life. During a period of pervasive cynicism and political despair, the first edition of this book provided me with a model for activist engagement that I have held dear ever since. Today, as movements for climate, racial, and economic justice sweep the globe, its message is more relevant than ever. In her inimitable and inspiring way, Solnit reminds us that social change follows an unpredictable path. Despite all the obstacles, we must not lose sight of the fact profound transformation is possible. This book’s compact size belies its true power. It provides succor and sustenance, fuel and fire, for those fighting for a more just world." Astra Taylor, author, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age
"No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium. Rebecca Solnit writes as independently as Orwell; she's a great muralist, a Diego Rivera of words. Literary and progressive America is in a Solnit moment, which given her endless talent should last a very long time." Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Deep Economy
About the Author
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and memory, including Men Explain Things to Me, Hope in the Dark; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust; and River of Shadows (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism and the Lannan Literary Award); and atlases of San Francisco and New Orleans. A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a contributing editor to Harper’s.
Rebecca Solnit on PowellsBooks.Blog
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