Hope in the Dark, Untold Stories, Wild Possibilities
When the first edition of Hope in the Dark was published in mid-2004 it gained an instant audience among serious students and progressives. This new, significantly expanded edition covers, among other things, the political territory of America and the world in recent history. Rebecca Solnit draws on her life as a writer and activist, on the largely disturbing events of our moment, on our deeper past, to argue for hope—hope even in the dark. Solnit reminds us of how changed the world has been by the activism of the past five decades. Offering a dazzling account of some of the least expected of those changes, she proposes a vision of cause-and-effect relations that provides new grounds for political engagement in the present. Counting historic victories—from the fall of the Berlin wall to the Zapatista uprising to Seattle in 1999 to the worldwide marches against war in Iraq to Cancun in September 2003—she traces the rise of a sophisticated, supple, nonviolent new movement that unites all the diverse and fragmentary issues of the eighties and nineties in our new century.
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of sixteen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and memory, including two atlases, of San Francisco in 2010 and New Orleans in 2013; this year’s Men Explain Things to Me; last year’s 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 contributing editor to Harper’s and frequent contributor to the political site Tomdispatch.com
Erica Bridgeman, host for the evening, is a veteran KPFA Public Affairs Producer.