BOOK REVIEW – HOPE IN THE DARK

HOPE IN THE DARK

BY REBECCA SOLNIT

The idea to read Rebecca Solnit’s work came through a recommendation from Caroline Lucas, Brighton’s Green MP

We really enjoyed this book. It’s packed full of thought-provoking stories and ideas. The hope that Rebecca Solnit offers is based on a recognition that the human spirit in adversity often displays great strength and generosity and that in facing up to the massive challenges of climate and ecological breakdown we may well see these qualities come to the fore. 

She also has an important message for us environmental activists, which is: don’t expect either victory or defeat, but realise that the change we want to see will happen slowly and incrementally as a result of all our hard work in all the things we do.

If you like to spend time with a writer who thinks outside the box, challenges assumptions and makes you think about things in a different way, you’ll love Rebecca Solnit’s work. She’s an activist’s activist, knowledgeable, gut-wrenchingly honest and, above all, inspirational. 

Book review – ‘Active Hope’

Active Hope

by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone

This is a book based on the workshops, the Work that Reconnects, that Joanna Macy has devised and run over many years.

Readers thought the great positives in the book were around the ideas of visioning our futures, and that the exercises included were very helpful and worked well in conjunction with mindfulness practices.

It was thought that for some people it may speak to and enable expression of the despair and distress that is felt around the seeming inevitability of the planets destruction and so too would be useful to those wanting to understand why they felt resistant to believing that anything could make a difference and so put off “acting” or “getting involved”.

Generally, the reviewers felt that many of the ideas expressed were already integral to ours and Extinction Rebellions thinking/feeling about the climate crisis, so at times it can come across as repetitive and a little dated. More significantly however, there was a widespread feeling that the language and imagery could be seen as privileged and non-inclusive, perhaps even patronising. Readers thought that Active Hope emphasised the individual journey and had very little to offer as an analysis of the global situation, but in fairness, it is marketed as a “self help”