An engrossing personal and professional account of fighting for ecological justice and establishing a pro-environment...

THE GREEN AMENDMENT

SECURING OUR RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT

An activist addresses a constitutional approach to protecting natural resources.

In this debut book, van Rossum shares stories from her decades running a nonprofit organization focused on maintaining the Delaware River as well as accounts from both citizen and professional activists around the country. She paints an optimistic picture—though one that is realistic about ongoing challenges—of the development of constitutionally driven strategies for counteracting and preventing pollution. The volume focuses on the importance of including the right to a clean environment in state constitutions, highlighting successful legal challenges to fracking and mining in Pennsylvania and Montana made possible by clauses in their governing documents. “What would happen if people everywhere began asserting their inalienable right to a clean and healthy environment,” the author asks, “rising up when industry and their political allies trample on that right?” Van Rossum presents a convincing argument for the need for such clauses, using cases from around the country in which the existing legal and regulatory structure has done little to protect farms from fracking, rivers from toxic chemicals, and watersheds from pipelines, with complex topics explained in simple language and a thorough notes section documenting her in-depth research. In addition to examining the legal framework, the author also offers counterarguments for economic concerns about expanded environmental regulations. A concluding chapter provides tactics for readers interested in pursuing constitutional remedies in their home states. Although the prose is occasionally overwrought (“I shuddered at the massive, open-cut wound through the wilderness”), the book succeeds in the many pages in which it allows those whose health and livelihoods have been damaged by pollution to tell their own tales. In addition, the author coherently presents scientific research that clearly shows the harm caused. Van Rossum does not mince words when it comes to describing problems of pipelines, natural gas production, industrial waste, and overdevelopment, but the reader is more likely to feel hopeful than overwhelmed at the work’s conclusion.

An engrossing personal and professional account of fighting for ecological justice and establishing a pro-environment constitutional framework.

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63331-021-6

Page Count: 316

Publisher: Disruption Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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