A provocative treatment of an important subject.

SUSTAINABILITY

A HISTORY

Caradonna (History/Univ. of Alberta; The Enlightenment in Practice: Academic Prize Contests and Intellectual Culture in France, 1670-1794, 2012) contends that our civilization is at a crossroads: Either we will maintain a business-as-usual approach and face inevitable collapse or adopt the path of sustainability.

For the author, sustainability is a broader concept than just conservation. With social justice and human rights as its “social dimension,” it covers “a broad range of domains: urbanism, agriculture and ecological design, forestry, fisheries, economics, trade, population, housing and architecture, transportation, business, education, social justice, and so on.” Caradonna claims that environmental issues should not be treated separately from political or economic issues. The environmental movement of the 1960s and ’70s was indeed “a transformation of the conceptual prism through which to view the world and humanity's place in it.” Books such as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) eliminated the idea of the artificial boundary between man and nature, recognizing both as part of the same ecosystem. Equally important, however, was its frequently overlooked counterpart: “the birth of 'ecological economics.’ ” Amory Lovins and other authors posed such questions as, “What is the point of endless economic growth?” and “How can nature, society, and the economy be studied as a single system?” In 1968, Aurelio Peccei's The Limits to Growth (1968) became a best-seller. These and other economists challenged the contention that the growth of unregulated markets was the only road to a prosperous society. Caradonna believes that there has been an important shift in ecological thinking since the 1980s. “Sustainability, in fact, has gone from marginal ecological idea to mainstream movement in a surprisingly short amount of time,” he writes. Now the issue is to define a path to sustainable development to replace globalism and the “reigning venture-capital approach.”

A provocative treatment of an important subject.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-19-937240-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A forceful, necessarily provocative call to action for the preservation and protection of American Jewish freedom.

HOW TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM

Known for her often contentious perspectives, New York Times opinion writer Weiss battles societal Jewish intolerance through lucid prose and a linear playbook of remedies.

While she was vividly aware of anti-Semitism throughout her life, the reality of the problem hit home when an active shooter stormed a Pittsburgh synagogue where her family regularly met for morning services and where she became a bat mitzvah years earlier. The massacre that ensued there further spurred her outrage and passionate activism. She writes that European Jews face a three-pronged threat in contemporary society, where physical, moral, and political fears of mounting violence are putting their general safety in jeopardy. She believes that Americans live in an era when “the lunatic fringe has gone mainstream” and Jews have been forced to become “a people apart.” With palpable frustration, she adroitly assesses the origins of anti-Semitism and how its prevalence is increasing through more discreet portals such as internet self-radicalization. Furthermore, the erosion of civility and tolerance and the demonization of minorities continue via the “casual racism” of political figures like Donald Trump. Following densely political discourses on Zionism and radical Islam, the author offers a list of bullet-point solutions focused on using behavioral and personal action items—individual accountability, active involvement, building community, loving neighbors, etc.—to help stem the tide of anti-Semitism. Weiss sounds a clarion call to Jewish readers who share her growing angst as well as non-Jewish Americans who wish to arm themselves with the knowledge and intellectual tools to combat marginalization and defuse and disavow trends of dehumanizing behavior. “Call it out,” she writes. “Especially when it’s hard.” At the core of the text is the author’s concern for the health and safety of American citizens, and she encourages anyone “who loves freedom and seeks to protect it” to join with her in vigorous activism.

A forceful, necessarily provocative call to action for the preservation and protection of American Jewish freedom.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-13605-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 23

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more