Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming

Overview

One of the world's most influential environmentalists reveals a worldwide grassroots movement of hope and humanity

Blessed Unrest tells the story of a worldwide movement that is largely unseen by politicians or the media. Hawken, an environmentalist and author, has spent more than a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person causes, these organizations collectively comprise...

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Overview

One of the world's most influential environmentalists reveals a worldwide grassroots movement of hope and humanity

Blessed Unrest tells the story of a worldwide movement that is largely unseen by politicians or the media. Hawken, an environmentalist and author, has spent more than a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person causes, these organizations collectively comprise the largest movement on earth. This is a movement that has no name, leader, or location, but is in every city, town, and culture. It is organizing from the bottom up and is emerging as an extraordinary and creative expression of people's needs worldwide.

Blessed Unrest explores the diversity of this movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies, and centuries-old history. The culmination of Hawken's many years of leadership in these fields, it will inspire, surprise, and delight anyone who is worried about the direction the modern world is headed. Blessed Unrest is a description of humanity's collective genius and the unstoppable movement to re-imagine our relationship to the environment and one another. Like Hawken's previous books, Blessed Unrest will become a classic in its field— a touchstone for anyone concerned about our future.

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Editorial Reviews

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Paul Hawken -- author, journalist, environmental activist, and entrepreneur -- is amazingly energetic. Hawken's active life makes him an ideal witness to grassroots movements on behalf of the environment and social justice initiatives of the last generation -- projects he claims have now spread worldwide and grown immensely powerful. He makes the intriguing case that these causes, organized from the bottom up, are converging to create the globe's most powerful moral and social force. Sixties boomers who recall Charles Reich's The Greening of America may recover their youth as they weigh Hawken's optimistic arguments for an emerging consciousness.
Robert Sullivan
Blessed Unrest is not a glass-half-full book. But Hawken does imply that the movement—which he estimates at perhaps two million organizations strong—is a sign of life stirring in the beaten-up bowels of the planet, part of the earth's own immunological response, as executed collectively (maybe even semiconsciously) by "social antibodies." Hawken, studiously avoiding the language of religion, ends up groping for a faith-free yet faith-based terminology to describe what connects people who put aside their own immediate material needs, if just for a second. "Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on earth, is an infinite game, the endless expression of generosity on behalf of all," he says. Hawken, it seems, is hoping for a miracle, which by definition is possible only because it's impossible. At the very least, knowing that other people are thinking along those lines makes such a thing seem a little more likely.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
The author of Growing a Business, basis of the noteworthy PBS series, Hawken catalogs the various environmental organizations large and small that he says make up the largest movement on Earth. With a six-city tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670038527
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and bestselling author of six previous books. He is the architect and leading proponent of reform with respect to ecological practices. He currently operates a nonprofit organization.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    Extraordinary and encompassing insights

    This is one of the most powerful and important books I've ever read. It's an unusually perceptive analysis and summary of man's historical relationship with nature and with one another: how we got to where we are and what the future may hold. Some is depressing 'honesty often is', but the author also offers balm for the soul. Hawken dwells in a systems world..... a world of interconnections, networks, fusions. He notes the merging of three wide-spread movements: Environment/ Indigenous Rights,/Social Justice. It's about the convergence of these encompassing movements, and perhaps most importantly, of this growth being spontaneous and from the bottom up. It's about survival mechanisms of species. It's about resilience in evolution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2007

    A thought provoking and inspirational book revealing many truths not found elsewhere

    After many years of reading, one book stands out, this is it, this is one of the best books that I have ever read, it reveals many truths not found in regular books, like where we are heading as human beings, and about how we are destroying the environment and upsetting the fragile ecological balance of mother earth etc. I've been book marking many pages and am amazed by the wisdom and inspiration of this book. It mentions how civilizations, species, indigenous people and cultures are being destroyed by greed and materialism, by most of us, it talks about Columbus and colonialism and how it has destroyed entire cultures and civilizations, quote 'Native people have remarked that, of the many promises made by white men, the only one that they kept was the vow to take their land' Most popular books available today are about 'How to succeed', 'How to make more money' 'How to open a franchise' ' 'How to market', 'How to get an MBA' etc, there are very few books on morality, wisdom, truth, divinity, modesty, humbleness, respect, protection of the environment, protection of animals etc. It reminds us that from our very first day at school, through high school and college, we are mostly taught about making money and materialism, getting and spending etc, we have thus become modern day slaves to banks and the wealthy in the form of mounting debt, we are debt ridden all our lives and it takes a lifetime to pay off this debt, part of the ultimate consumer society. Today, markets and currencies are manipulated by wealthy nations, and poorer nations are at the mercy of industrialized nations, sadly poorer countries are exploited by trading their minerals, diamonds, gold, raw materials, forests etc. by wealthier nations and are paid for in kind by weapons and armaments, which are then used for committing genocide on their own people while wealthy nations enjoy all the material comforts and luxurious life at the expense of the poor. Hawkens mentions that businesses talk about adding value and making higher profits to satisfy shareholders, but at what price, profit without consequence is what they are practicing, they do not think about the destruction to the environment and natural resources, the practice of a 'profits at any cost' will lead to a scorched earth, which threatens our very existence on planet earth. Globalization only benefits wealthy and highly industrialized nations, it results in exploitation of resources in poorer nations, destroying their cultures, natural resources and the environment so that more profits can be made by the wealthy, i.e. profits without shame, the best example is China, which has the worst human right's record and worker abuses bordering on slavery, only a handful of wealthy Chinese folks and the Communist Party are benefiting from it, what a pity. Globalization is the modern day equivalent of imperialism and colonization, sadly the rich get richer and the poor suffer. Paul Hawkens is a true visionary and a genius, this book has many spiritual insights. it should become a prescribed text book in high schools and colleges around the world. Bharat V. P. Ohio (Lenasia, SA)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

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