CLEAN ENERGY NATION

FREEING AMERICA FROM THE TYRANNY OF FOSSIL FUELS

Comprehensive guide to America’s looming energy emergency, including suggested actions that the authors believe will avert a global crisis.

War, pestilence, starvation and the collapse of the global economy are just some of the consequences of not moving aggressively toward energy independence, assert Congressman McNerney—a member of House committees on Global Warming and Energy Independence and on Science and Technology—and science and technology journalist Cheek. They outline the many dangers of ignoring the Peak Oil Theory, which predicts that the world’s oil output will begin to decline in the near future. With growing economies like China increasing their fossil fuel use and developing strategic alliances with oil-rich countries that are not allies of the United States, the authors argue, there is no time to waste in implementing lower emission standards and greater use of alternative energy sources, including solar, wind, water, biofuel, geothermal and possibly nuclear power. Oil dependence affects citizens’ daily lives in myriad ways, impacting not just transportation but the manufacture of medicines, maintenance of the military and national security, preservation of agriculture and the food supply and the heating and cooling of homes and businesses. Unless tough standards are met in the next decade, the United States will assume an increasingly weak position within the global oil marketplace. The number of barrels of crude oil produced domestically is already far short of U.S. consumption rates, and progress in Washington has been hindered by recent administrations unduly influenced by the oil industry. The authors present a plan to reduce oil dependence from OPEC nations by 75 percent by the year 2020. If the incoming administration can immediately prioritize the development of clean, abundant, natural energy, they write, the United States can emerge victorious from this transition period and retain its reputation as the world’s most innovative and autonomous country, “the peace power of the twenty-first-century world.”

Expert and invigorating.

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8144-1372-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: AMACOM

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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