Derrick Jensen's most ambitious, important, and best book to date.
Publishers WeeklyThe author, who in earlier books like The Culture of Make Believe discussed his experience of violence and abuse as a child, calls now for determined and even violent resistance to environmental degradation. Jensen comes across in volume I as a provocative but personable philosopher-activist who in lyrical and witty writing bemoans species extinction, sullied air quality, shrinking icecaps, expanding deserts and vanishing forests wrought by humans. But Jensen believes "this culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living." Civilization, he says in volume II, is killing the planet, so "[c]ivilization needs to be brought down now." Jensen dwells through several chapters on the need to destroy tens of thousands of river dams, whether with pickax-wielding citizen armies or through the use of well-placed explosive charges; other chapters consider how simple it would be to paralyze the American capitalist system if small activist cells were to disrupt railway, highway, pipeline and other elements of commercial infrastructure. Jensen clearly feels a close connection to nature, writes movingly about the hoped-for return of the salmon, the trees, the grizzly bears. But he has become so disgusted with what he calls "civilization" that he has more compassion for the salmon than for his fellow humans. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalActivist Jensen's absorbing and insightful writings and speeches have placed him in the vanguard of the environmental movement. For some time, he tried to work within the system, but ultimately he realized that we cannot "vote our way to justice or shop our way to sustainability." In this two-volume work, the final part of a rough trilogy that includes A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make Believe, Jensen hopes to encourage those who care passionately about our planet's ecological crisis to become more radical and militant. Our industrial global economy, he argues in Volume 1, creates untenable and infinite demand, poisons our bodies, pollutes our surroundings, and leads to domination by the greediest. Such degradation of the natural world has to be stopped before every living thing is destroyed. Since those corporations that abuse the earth will not change their ruthlessly aggressive behavior, and since governments on the whole support corporate interests, counterviolence is an appropriate response. In Volume 2, Jensen supports this controversial premise with intelligent and logical arguments, analogies, dialogs, personal experience, and facts. Written with passion, anger, frustration, hope, and even humor, this massive work is highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Ilse Heidmann, Washington State Lib., Olympia Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Seven Stories Press
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