An inspired synthesis of environmental, cultural, economic, and political calls to action.



A debut ecology book examines agriculture’s role in global warming and proposes individual and collective responses to avert a human-made sixth extinction.   

In the climate crisis, Erickson, a screenwriter and filmmaker, finds potent drama: “A fight for our lives” and a ticking clock. His cast: disparate creatures, including Hazel the triplewart sea devil, Thomas Q. Piglet, Lucinda Monarch, Earl the Worm, Pat the Pooper (a microorganism), farm animals, meerkats, and numerous people—all facing different challenges but the same fate. The plot: unmask the “Arch-Villain” behind the interconnected crises of rural decline, unhealthy food, chronic illness, and climate change. The author pens poignant stories before deploying facts and figures. Children near factory farms suffer asthma. A piglet, ripped from its mother, never spends a day outdoors. A teen battles obesity. Family farmers confront policies tilted against them. Midway through, Erickson confirms “Industrial Agriculture. And factory farming…Big Ag. This is our Arch-Villain.” Concentrated animal feeding operations are not only inhumane; their hormones and antibiotics breed resistant pathogens. Monocrop methods, with pesticides, herbicides, and tilled fields left bare, destroy the soil’s microbiome, nature’s most effective carbon storage system. Large-scale regenerative organic farming, the author argues, could offset current carbon dioxide emissions. He advocates “compassionate activism”—raising awareness of farming and food issues, using purchasing power to reduce meat consumption and increase healthy options, and harnessing voter pressure to rewrite the Farm Bill and enact a Green New Deal. The ambitious book’s five chapters highlight compassionate approaches toward animals, self, the land, community, and democracy. Erickson’s writing displays passion, clarity, and a grasp of every topic he tackles. He is also verbose and prone to repetition. His refrains may delight some but annoy others. But his analysis is solid, and his sourcing is supported by 900-plus endnotes and four expert contributors (Berry, Fuhrman, McArthur, and Lewis) credited on the cover. An index and bibliography would enhance future editions. Erickson’s ability to connect climate science, copious data, and public policies with the lived experiences of people and other creatures sets this book apart. His emphasis on humane and caring methods reminds readers that winning hearts and minds is a prerequisite to capturing carbon.

An inspired synthesis of environmental, cultural, economic, and political calls to action.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73320-270-1

Page Count: 480

Publisher: TGH Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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