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Rebecca Solnit is giving away her book on activism and hope for free

Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit

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.

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Starfury
Starfury
5 years ago
Shadowplay
5 years ago

It’s a good book. Despite her sometimes convoluted and rather purple prose, you’ll get a lot out of it. No earth shattering revelations, I think, but she strings together a logical, coherent (and very human!) look at hope.

sparkalipoo
sparkalipoo
5 years ago

(and to the woman I was reading about, who decided to sell safety pins for 4 dollars on etsy and she ‘might’ donate some money if she makes enough, ^^^^^ this is how you do activism)

How do you not realize how bad this looks? How?

@Podkayne Lives (Zionist Bonobo))
apparently triple parenthesis are a antisemitic dog whistle. While it is totally possible that some Jewish people are triggered by that as treeperson person said it’s a problem for people to advocate for another group without talking to them and as someone with a mental illness who does get triggered in the true medical meaning of the term, I take issue with people using the word to mean offended or upset or who use the term to refer to someone else’s feelings when they don’t know if that person was actually having a panic attack or similar mental illness flair up/relapse

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
5 years ago

I just saw this post on tumblr, seems to be from a lawyer/law student perhaps, musing on Trump meeting Obama (who I gather is a former law professor? Didn’t know that, though I knew he did law). The poster explains why they think this may have been a pretty uncomfortable meeting for Trump.

http://valadilenne.tumblr.com/post/153048664118

I’m hoping it’s generally ok to link to a public post from another forum, especially a pseudonymous one, but if I’m wrong about that I’d be very grateful if this could be deleted?

Wanda
Wanda
5 years ago

Speaking of activism, to all my DC-area peeps or anyone in the general vicinity, there is a “Women March on DC’ protest going down the day after Trump’s inauguration. There are spin-offs around the country, but for the one in DC, there are already 45,000 people signed up and another 122,000 interested in going. I know I will be there, and I volunteered my place to the event should someone out of town need a place to stay. Obviously it won’t accomplish anything immediate, but I think it’s necessary to put it on every television in the country and around the world that a huge segment of this country supports equality and progress.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
5 years ago

Sorry to necro this, but what program does one use to open and read her e-book?

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

@Fishy Goat

Calibri knows most e-book formats (on PC). You can probably convert the book with it to whatever you normally use for reading things.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
5 years ago

Adobe didn’t work by itself, so I found an EPUB to Pdf site. THanks anyway. 🙂

Claire
Claire
5 years ago

@sparkalipoo

I may be reading this wrong but I think Eli was stating that Ms Solnit’s free download is activism (and that the safety pin person was not an activist).

Lucrece
Lucrece
5 years ago
Reply to  Fishy Goat

@Fishy Goat

I use an app called File Converter for iOS (icon is a dark green circular arrow) to convert pretty much any ebook format to any other document format. (It isn’t free but it’s also not very expensive.)

Not sure if something similar is available for PC. However, the Kindle reader is available for PC and the evook was also available in .mobi format. If you’re not having a good experience with the PDF version, this might be worth a try.
?

Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
5 years ago

@ Claire

I also may perhaps be reading it wrong, but as I understand it, you’re spot on about what eli was stating but have missed the fact that “you” in sparkalipoo’s “How do you not realize how bad this looks? How?” was directed towards the woman selling the safety pins (not eli), and was intended as agreement with and further comment on what eli said.

Claire
Claire
5 years ago

Ah. My bad. That makes way more sense.

Mike Koivula
Mike Koivula
5 years ago

Solnit did a great article in Harpers Magazine about the way that many people can be both ignorant and cynical at the same time….

http://harpers.org/archive/2016/05/the-habits-of-highly-cynical-people/

Cassandra
Cassandra
5 years ago

I wasn’t able to get the book free – I did buy it for $5 which I’m fine with – but if it says free you want your link to work so that people don’t get upset with you. Just saying. 🙂

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