WHEN TECHNOLOGY WOUNDS: The Human Consequences of Progress by Chellis Glendinning

WHEN TECHNOLOGY WOUNDS: The Human Consequences of Progress

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Forty-six interviews with ""technology survivors"" form the basis of this impassioned appeal to save the people, restore democracy, and rescue dying earth--by psychologist Glendinning (Waking Up in the Nuclear Age, 1987--not reviewed). There's no denying the poignant stories: the atomic veterans, pesticide sufferers, benzene victims, Dalkon shield and diethylstilbestrol users. The case histories are grabbers, often prompting righteous anger and indignation at corporate/government/medical establishment deception and indifference. The author then interposes a series of chapters on the losses--the wounds--as well as the mechanisms of guilt, denial, projection, and taboos that interfere with the individual's and society's coping. But the 46 survivors Glendinning chose were emblematic of healing processes that she proceeds to delineate in the second half. These include a straightforward acceptance of the need to get on with one's life, and an identification with larger forces and activities that give meaning and purpose to that life. The range includes everything from old-fashioned God to new-fashioned Gaia, from trusting intuition and dreams to relying on ""alternative"" medicine. Moving on, Glendinning describes the value of helping others and building linkages with other survivors, and the importance and political clout of survivor organizations. Finally comes her bleak picture of a poisoned Earth reeling from the excesses of technology. Her solution? Essentially an antiprogress, back-to-nature stance. And, as we march off into the sunset, let us by all means form an international union of technology survivors to break the spell, stop the wounds, start caring. Well-intentioned but simplistic in its black/white dichotomies and Luddite solution.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1990
Publisher: Morrow