Next book

THE ARCHIPELAGO OF HOPE

WISDOM AND RESILIENCE FROM THE EDGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

An encouraging exploration of how ancestral wisdom and political savvy have led to positive environmental policies.

Indigenous peoples testify to the realities of climate change.

For the past 20 years, environmentalist Raygorodetsky—a research affiliate at the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria and executive director of the Indigenous Knowledge, Community Monitoring, and Citizen Science Branch of the Department of Environment and Parks, Alberta—has been traveling to indigenous communities around the world to monitor their experiences of climate change. In his revealing debut book, he reports on his findings from visits to Finland, Russia, Ecuador, Thailand, and Canada, vividly portraying the communities’ ecologies, livelihoods, and “intimate understanding[s] of landscapes and seascapes.” Indigenous peoples, the author writes, although comprising only 4 percent of the world’s population, care for more than a fifth of the Earth’s surface, environments teeming in biodiversity. Their traditional knowledge has allowed them to adapt to the challenges of climate change. In northern Lapland, for example, changes in ice and snow have had an impact on the Skolt Sámi reindeer herders, who confront shortened snow seasons and freezing rain that encases pastures and leads to reindeers’ starvation. Like other indigenous groups, the Skolts rely partly on traditional knowledge and partly on modern tools, such as meteorological radio reports, to track weather patterns. They also collaborate with governmental and nongovernmental organizations to intervene in biocultural decisions. On the Yamal Peninsula of Siberia, reindeer herders and environmental NGOs vigorously protested Soviet plans to build a pipeline through the region. Public hearings led to a decision to construct an elevated pipeline that allowed reindeer herds to pass beneath without disruption. Many advocacy groups, such as the Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment, the Association for Nature and Sustainable Livelihoods, and Land Is Life, press for the development of “culturally appropriate strategies to cope with climate change and to inject local voices into the global climate change discourse.” Besides ancestral wisdom, spiritual beliefs, and traditional land use, the communities’ participation in influential NGOs and activism justifies Raygorodetsky’s message of hope.

An encouraging exploration of how ancestral wisdom and political savvy have led to positive environmental policies.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68177-532-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

Next book

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

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

Next book

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Close Quickview