Hope in the Dark
Untold Histories, Wild PossibilitiesUnknown - 2016
"One of the Best Books of the 21st Century."
"No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium."
"An elegant reminder that activist victories are easily forgotten, and that they often come in extremely unexpected, roundabout ways."
--The New Yorker
A book as powerful and influential as Rebecca Solnit'sMen Explain Things to Me, herHope in the Darkwas written to counter the despair of radicals at a moment when they were focused on their losses and had turned their back to the victories behind them--and the unimaginable changes soon to come. In it, she makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argued that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next. Now, with a moving new introduction explaining how the book came about and a new afterword that helps teach us how to hope and act in our unnerving world, she brings a new illumination to the darkness of 2016 in an unforgettable new edition of this classic book.
Writer, historian, and activistRebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.
Featured Blogs and Events
Back in early March I had the good fortune of being first on the holds list for Recollections of My Nonexistence, the new memoir by Rebecca Solnit. My luck held -- I checked it out just before the quarantine, thus guaranteeing that I could keep it for months. (I’ve been infected by Ms. Solnit’s contagious habit of looking at the hopeful side of things.) It's no secret that I'm a fan of… (more)
I am hopeful that this 4th of July will inspire more than just a feeling of patriotism or nationalism. I am hopeful that it will instead encourage hope for social justice and move away from a nationalism that leans dangerously toward prejudice and injustices—especially during this national holiday. I offer the books highlighted here as powerful tools for instilling hope to energize us towards… (more)
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From Library Staff
LPL_ShirleyB Aug 10, 2017
Solnit provides powerful reassurance to have faith in the impact of social and environmental activism—to accept that benefits are not usually obvious or immediate.
LPL_DirectorBrad Mar 10, 2017
I am Rebecca Solnit's newest fanboy. Her dissection of the either/or, black/white, this/that mentality that plagues so many of us so much of the time begs that it be read--often and repeatedly like a great hymnal. Solnit helps me keep hope in my heart as we face an uncertain future. She reminds u... Read More »