UPDATE: The free offer is over, but the book is still available at a big discount at the link below.
The writer and activist Rebecca Solnit — probably best known as the woman who came up with the idea of mansplaining, though not the term itself — is giving away her book on activism and hope for free, in hopes it can help some of us horrified by Trump’s win to work through the despair and helplessness so many of us are now feeling.
Solnit is aware, though, that we will all do this in our own way and at our own pace. “[I]t’s okay if you’re not ready, if you’re bitter, terrified, horrified, devastated this week,” she wrote in a Faccebook post yesterday.
I’m against lashing out, but I’m against running away from the impact too. I’m for taking it in and then gathering our strength to move on.
Hopefully her book will help a lot of people with that. (Including me — I just downloaded it myself.)
You can download it here.
Here is part of the book’s introduction:
“Memory produces hope in the same way that amnesia produces despair,” the theologian Walter Brueggeman noted. It’s an extraordinary statement, one that reminds us that though hope is about the future, grounds for hope lie in the records and recollections of the past. We can tell of a past that was nothing but defeats and cruelties and injustices, or of a past that was some lovely golden age now irretrievably lost, or we can tell a more complicated and accurate story, one that has room for the best and worst, for atrocities and liberations, for grief and jubilation. A memory commensurate to the complexity of the past and the whole cast of participants, a memory that includes our power, produces that forward-directed power called hope.
Amnesia leads to despair in many ways. The status quo would like you to believe it is immutable, inevitable, and invulnerable, and lack of memory of a dynamically changing world reinforces this view. …
One of the essential aspects of depression is the sense that you will always be mired in this misery, that nothing can or will change. … Things don’t always change for the better, but they change, and we can play a role in that change, if we act. Which is where hope comes in, and memory, the collective memory we call history.
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book.