Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rebecca Solnit: The Hope Helper

In the past couple of weeks, several of my political allies started feeling hopeless about making a difference. In my efforts to cheer them up, I tell them about Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark - Untold Histories, Wild Possiblities, which I read several years ago. It has helped sustain me when the news is consistently grim.

Rebecca was discovered by my favorite blogger, Tom Engelhardt, who has been posting at TomDispatch since shortly after 9/11. He edited Hope in the Dark, and he offers Rebecca the TomDispatch platform for an occasional article.

A sensible blogger, Tom is checking out until after the holidays, but he left us a great gift, "Rebecca Solnit on Hope in Print.” Rebecca shares her “secret library of hope,” 12 books “that offer the reader encouragement not to curl up in despair when faced with a grim world.”

Of the twelve books Rebecca recommends, I’m singling out Adam Hochschild’s Bury the Chains - Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves (also edited by Tom) because it has sustained me this past year in my efforts to promote impeachment, considered by many as a hopeless endeavor. I previously posted about it here.
I’ll be away for several days, traveling with my family. My gift to you is to point you in Rebecca Solnit’s direction. She’s the ultimate hope helper.

(Bury the Chains book cover: Quakers in Britain)

1 comment:

Chris Borland said...

Thanks, Gail!

We can use all the "hope help" we can get, and maintaining the "long view" is one way to do it (activism certainly is not for those seeking instant gratification).

Great book recommendations ...