A refreshingly unique and incredibly informative collection of vital Indigenous wisdom.

WE ARE THE MIDDLE OF FOREVER

INDIGENOUS VOICES FROM TURTLE ISLAND ON THE CHANGING EARTH

A welcome compilation of interviews with Indigenous Americans about climate change.

Jamail is a Martha Gellhorn Award–winning journalist, and Rushworth is a California-based teacher of Native American literature. As the editors demonstrate, all of the contributors to this dynamic collection are rooted in ancient cultural philosophies that radically challenge non-Native ideas about climate change. “For the Indigenous people of the world,” writes Rushworth in the preface, “radical alteration of the planet, and of life itself, is a story many generations long.” Jamail goes on to point out that Native Americans have already witnessed massive destruction in the past few centuries, ranging from the annihilation of the buffalo from the Great Plains to the decimation of Native populations “as a result of sanctioned settler mayhem.” Consequently, Indigenous Americans are uniquely equipped to philosophically and practically tackle climate change. At the heart of these interviews is a rejection of current practices. Before colonization, Native peoples like the Hopi spent centuries perfecting systems that successfully cared for the Earth. According to Unangan elder Ilarion Merculieff, this balance was disturbed by European colonizers who created what Yupik elders describe as a “reverse society” or “inside out society.” Ilarion argues that the only way to cope with climate change is to reject Eurocentric notions of “normal” and to adopt Indigenous ways of thinking and being. Interviewees suggest a variety of abstract and concrete avenues for doing so—e.g., Potawatomi scholar Kyle Powys Whyte’s recommendation to alter our relationship with clock time or Quinault President Fawn Sharp’s idea to use Native knowledge to preemptively shift her constituents' homes to flood-safe areas. Throughout, contributors remind us that the Earth has survived for billions of years and will survive for billions more; humans, however, may not. Readers will be impressed by both the depth and breadth of the interviews as well as the contributors’ evocative, vivid storytelling and palpable emotion.

A refreshingly unique and incredibly informative collection of vital Indigenous wisdom.

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-62097-719-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

THE WAR ON THE WEST

A British journalist fulminates against Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, and other threats to White privilege.

“There is an assault going on against everything to do with the Western world—its past, present, and future.” So writes Spectator associate editor Murray, whose previous books have sounded warnings against the presumed dangers of Islam and of non-Western immigration to the West. As the author argues, Westerners are supposed to take in refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America while being “expected to abolish themselves.” Murray soon arrives at a crux: “Historically the citizens of Europe and their offspring societies in the Americas and Australasia have been white,” he writes, while the present is bringing all sorts of people who aren’t White into the social contract. The author also takes on the well-worn subject of campus “wokeness,” a topic of considerable discussion by professors who question whether things have gone a bit too far; indeed, the campus is the locus for much of the anti-Western sentiment that Murray condemns. The author’s arguments against reparations for past damages inflicted by institutionalized slavery are particularly glib. “It comes down to people who look like the people to whom a wrong was done in history receiving money from people who look like the people who may have done the wrong,” he writes. “It is hard to imagine anything more likely to rip apart a society than attempting a wealth transfer based on this principle.” Murray does attempt to negotiate some divides reasonably, arguing against “exclusionary lines” and for Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s call for a more vigorous and welcoming civil culture. Too often, however, the author falters, as when he derides Gen. Mark Milley for saying, “I want to understand white rage. And I’m white”—perhaps forgetting the climacteric White rage that Milley monitored on January 6, 2021.

A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-316202-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2022

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Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.

HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT PANDEMIC

The tech mogul recounts the health care–related dimensions of his foundation in what amounts to a long policy paper.

“Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional.” Thus states the epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, a Gates adviser, who hits on a critically important point: Disease is a fact of nature, but a pandemic is a political creation of a kind. Therefore, there are political as well as medical solutions that can enlist governments as well as scientists to contain outbreaks and make sure they don’t explode into global disasters. One critical element, Gates writes, is to alleviate the gap between high- and low-income countries, the latter of which suffer disproportionately from outbreaks. Another is to convince governments to ramp up production of vaccines that are “universal”—i.e., applicable to an existing range of disease agents, especially respiratory pathogens such as coronaviruses and flus—to prepare the world’s populations for the inevitable. “Doing the right thing early pays huge dividends later,” writes Gates. Even though doing the right thing is often expensive, the author urges that it’s a wise investment and one that has never been attempted—e.g., developing a “global corps” of scientists and aid workers “whose job is to wake up every day thinking about diseases that could kill huge numbers of people.” To those who object that such things are easier said than done, Gates counters that the development of the current range of Covid vaccines was improbably fast, taking a third of the time that would normally have been required. At the same time, the author examines some of the social changes that came about through the pandemic, including the “new normal” of distance working and learning—both of which, he urges, stand to be improved but need not be abandoned.

Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-53448-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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