Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics / Edition 1

Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics / Edition 1

by Rebecca Solnit
Pub. Date:
University of California Press
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Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics / Edition 1

Rebecca Solnit has made a vocation of journeying into difficult territory and reporting back, as an environmentalist, antiglobalization activist, and public intellectual. Storming the Gates of Paradise, an anthology of her essential essays from the past ten years, takes the reader from the Pyrenees to the U.S.—Mexican border, from San Francisco to London, from open sky to the deepest mines, and from the antislavery struggles of two hundred years ago to today’s street protests. The nearly forty essays collected here comprise a unique guidebook to the American landscape after the millennium—not just the deserts, skies, gardens, and wilderness areas that have long made up Solnit’s subject matter, but the social landscape of democracy and repression, of borders, ruins, and protests. She ventures into territories as dark as prison and as sublime as a broad vista, revealing beauty in the harshest landscape and political struggle in the most apparently serene view. Her introduction sets the tone and the book’s overarching themes as she describes Thoreau, leaving the jail cell where he had been confined for refusing to pay war taxes and proceeding directly to his favorite huckleberry patch.
In this way she links pleasure to politics, brilliantly demonstrating that the path to paradise has often run through prison.

These startling insights on current affairs, politics, culture, and history, always expressed in Solnit’s pellucid and graceful prose, constantly revise our views of the otherwise ordinary and familiar. Illustrated throughout, Storming the Gates of Paradise represents recent developments in Solnit’s thinking and offers the reader a panoramic world view enriched by her characteristically provocative, inspiring, and hopeful observations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520251090
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 06/18/2007
Pages: 429
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.13(d)

Table of Contents

List of Photographs     xi
Introduction: Prisons and Paradises     1
Uneven Terrain: The West
The Red Lands     15
The Postmodern Old West, or The Precession of Cowboys and Indians     22
The Struggle of Dawning Intelligence: Creating, Revising, and Recognizing Native American Monuments     40
The Garden of Merging Paths     51
Borders and Crossers
A Route in the Shape of a Question     69
Thirty-Nine Steps Across the Border and Back     75
Nonconforming Uses: Teddy Cruz on Both Sides of the Border     97
Trouble Below: Mining, Water, and Nuclear Waste
The Price of Gold, the Value of Water     115
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch     128
Poison Pictures     135
Reaching for the Sky
Excavating the Sky     143
Drawing the Constellations     165
Hugging the Shadows     168
Justice by Moonlight     172
Landscapes of Resistance and Repression
Fragments of the Future: The FTAA in Miami     179
Jailbirds I Have Loved     188
Making It Home: Travels outside the Fear Economy     195
Mirror in the Street     199
Liberation Conspiracies     203
Sontag and Tsunami     216
Gardens andWildernesses
Every Corner Is Alive: Eliot Porter as an Environmentalist and an Artist     225
The Botanical Circus, or Adventures in American Gardening     254
A Murder of Ravens: On Globalized Species     265
Women's Place
Tangled Banks and Clear-Cut Examples     275
Seven Stepping Stones down the Primrose Path: A Talk at a Conference on Landscape and Gender     282
Other Daughters, Other American Revolutions     297
Infernal Museums
California Comedy, or Surfing with Dante     307
The Wal-Mart Biennale     318
The Silence of the Lambswool Cardigans     323
Locked Horns     327
City at the End of the World
The Orbits of Earthly Bodies     333
San Francisco: The Metamorphosis     337
The Heart of the City     345
The Ruins of Memory     351
Gaping Questions     371
Coda: The Pacific Seashell to Ear     379
Acknowledgments     385
Notes     387
Permissions     407
Index     411

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