A broad-brush demonization of environmentalism.

ECO-FASCISTS

HOW RADICAL CONSERVATIONISTS ARE DESTROYING OUR NATURAL HERITAGE

A veteran journalist’s screed about the tyranny of the environmental movement in rural America.

With much of American biological diversity located in rural areas, it stands to reason that the people and ways of life most strongly affected by the work of conservationists are found in the hinterlands. Former Globe and MailTime and Life contributor Nickson (The Monkey Puzzle Tree, 1994), who owns forest property on an island in the Pacific Northwest, waged a long battle against environmentalists there for the right to build another house on her property. Aghast at her encounter with environmental regulations, the author decided to investigate environmentalism’s impact across the country. Her book is a chronicle of her personal struggle to claim her rights as a property owner and a broad, ranting overview of the environmental movement, “a grand idea corrupted by powerful fanatics” whose nongovernmental organizations rely on “a suffocating web of lies, distortions, fearmongering, and bad science.” Conservation biology and the “sophistry” of Harvard scientist E.O. Wilson, with his overblown claims of species extinction, have curtailed the use of natural resources, extinguished jobs, forced rural people off the land, and sharply diminished working- and middle-class incomes. Nickson characterizes The Nature Conservancy, a leading NGO, as a wealthy group of “virtuecrats” with deep corporate ties. Like other groups, it uses the Endangered Species Act as a weapon to “destroy rural America.” The author chronicles her interviews with aggrieved ranchers, other property owners and like-minded individuals such as philosopher of science Alton Chase, who faults conservation biology and researchers at the Property and Environment Research Center, a free-market think tank. Nickson’s sledgehammer approach contributes little to understanding the clash between conservationists and property owners.

A broad-brush demonization of environmentalism.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-208003-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more