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ALL WE CAN SAVE

TRUTH, COURAGE, AND SOLUTIONS FOR THE CLIMATE CRISIS

A well-curated collection with many ideas for ways large and small to save the planet.

A welcome anthology, in prose and verse, of women’s writings on climate change.

At the outset, marine biologist Johnson, founder of the Urban Ocean Lab, and teacher Wilkinson, vice president of Project Drawdown, write that the political and social constructs that oppress women are one and the same with those that are wreaking havoc on the global environment: “Dominance, supremacy, violence, extraction, egotism, greed, ruthless competition—these hallmarks of patriarchy fuel the climate crisis just as surely as they do inequality, colluding with racism along the way.” There’s no such zero-sum game-playing here. The editors observe that women are well equipped to transcend ego and competition in order to create a politics of “heart-centered, not just head-centered, leadership.” Many of the writings that follow celebrate Indigenous ways of knowing: Mexico-born Xiye Bastida, for example, invokes her Otomi-Toltec ancestors to advocate a “shift in culture and mindset.” She argues vigorously for intersectional activism and eschews any form of exclusive politics that further marginalizes the disenfranchised. Penobscot writer Sherri Mitchell emphasizes the importance of recognizing that “we are all inextricably linked” while Joy Harjo, the first Native poet laureate, raises a number of provocative questions for would-be political leaders—e.g., “Do you have authority by the original keepers of the lands, those who obey natural law and are in the service of the lands on which you stand?” If not, the leader has no business in the job. Some writers—Naomi Klein, say—are more grounded in scientific and political approaches, and poet Emily Johnston delivers a needed caution: We can work diligently and still not solve the monumental problems we face, but that is no excuse not to do it: “There is too much we need to heal, and we have to change the path that we’re on. We have beautiful work to do before we die.” Other contributors include Ada Limón, Kendra Pierre-Louis, Varshini Prakash, and Mary Oliver.

A well-curated collection with many ideas for ways large and small to save the planet.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-23706-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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WHAT THIS COMEDIAN SAID WILL SHOCK YOU

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

The comedian argues that the arts of moderation and common sense must be reinvigorated.

Some people are born snarky, some become snarky, and some have snarkiness thrust upon them. Judging from this book, Maher—host of HBO’s Real Time program and author of The New New Rules and When You Ride Alone, You Ride With bin Laden—is all three. As a comedian, he has a great deal of leeway to make fun of people in politics, and he often delivers hilarious swipes with a deadpan face. The author describes himself as a traditional liberal, with a disdain for Republicans (especially the MAGA variety) and a belief in free speech and personal freedom. He claims that he has stayed much the same for more than 20 years, while the left, he argues, has marched toward intolerance. He sees an addiction to extremism on both sides of the aisle, which fosters the belief that anyone who disagrees with you must be an enemy to be destroyed. However, Maher has always displayed his own streaks of extremism, and his scorched-earth takedowns eventually become problematic. The author has something nasty to say about everyone, it seems, and the sarcastic tone starts after more than 300 pages. As has been the case throughout his career, Maher is best taken in small doses. The book is worth reading for the author’s often spot-on skewering of inept politicians and celebrities, but it might be advisable to occasionally dip into it rather than read the whole thing in one sitting. Some parts of the text are hilarious, but others are merely insulting. Maher is undeniably talented, but some restraint would have produced a better book.

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781668051351

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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WHAT WENT WRONG WITH CAPITALISM

Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

A book-length assertion that capitalism’s woes can be traced to government interventionism.

Sharma, an investments manager, financial journalist, and author of The 10 Rules of Successful Nations, The Rise and Fall of Nations, and other books, opens with the case of his native India. The author argues that it should be in a better position in the global marketplace, possessing an entrepreneurial culture and endless human capital. The culprit was “India’s lingering attachment to a state that overpromises and under-delivers,” one that privileged social welfare over infrastructure development. Much the same is true in the U.S., where today “President Joe Biden is promising to fix the crises of capitalism by enlarging a government that never shrank.” Refreshingly, Sharma places just as much blame on Ronald Reagan for the swollen state that introduced distortions into the market. Moreover, “flaws that economists blame on ‘market failures,’ including wealth inequality and inordinate corporate power, often flow more from government excesses.” One distortion is the government’s bloated debt, as it continues to fund itself by borrowing in order to pay for “the perennial deficit.” As any household budget manager would tell you, debt is ultimately unsustainable. Wealth concentration is another outcome of government tinkering that has, whether by design or not, concentrated wealth into the hands of a very small number of people, “a critical symptom of capitalism gone wrong, both inefficient and grossly unfair.” Perhaps surprisingly, Sharma notes that in quasi-socialist economies such as the Scandinavian nations, such interventions are fewer and shallower, while autocratic command economies are doomed to fail. “[T]oday every large developed country is a full-fledged democracy,” he writes, and the more freedom the better—but that freedom, he argues, is undermined by the U.S. government, which has accrued “the widest budget deficit in the developed world.”

Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9781668008263

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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