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How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics,…

How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature (edition 2017)

by George Monbiot (Author)

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Title:How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature
Authors:George Monbiot (Author)
Info:Verso (2017), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:environment, politics

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How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature by George Monbiot



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How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature is a collection of George Monbiot's essays with an introduction which offers a thematic lens through which to read them. He posits that there must be "countervailing voices" in order for there to be change and these essays serve as a partial example of his countervailing voice on the issues, primarily, of politics, equality and nature. These are, of course, overlapping and interlocking areas so many essays may be focused on one topic but must still take into account the others.

For those unfamiliar with Monbiot's activism and/or column in the Guardian this will be an excellent introduction to his writing and thinking. For those of us familiar with him, this presents a selection of essays which, taken as a whole, addresses the topics mentioned in the title. This is not a book written as a single argument so the reader is not presented with a laid-out plan but rather must use the introduction as a map with which to navigate through the essays and extract Monbiot's overarching points and suggestions. It is certainly more work for the reader but I think that is the point: to get the reader to formulate ideas from his essays rather than simply be given some hypothetical solution to the world's problems. In other words, my takeaway might be an idea about what I can do (locally, regionally, nationally or internationally) to also be a countervailing voice while another reader will have an entirely different action to take.

I would recommend this to any reader interested in these topics, particularly those who enjoy active reading. The essays are strong if simply read to learn his ideas but the power really comes from interacting and thinking about solutions actively.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Jun 28, 2016 |
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"Leading political and environmental commentator on where we have gone wrong, and what to do about it. "Here are some of the things I try to fight: undemocratic power, corruption, deception of the public, environmental destruction, injustice, inequality and the misallocation of resources, waste, denial, the libertarianism which grants freedom to the powerful at the expense of the powerless, undisclosed interests, complacency." George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. In How Did We Get into this Mess?, which collects Monbiot's journalism over the last seven years, he brilliantly anatomises the state we are in: the devastation of our environment, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of Nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do. While his diagnosis of the problems in front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions to challenge this politics of fear"--… (more)

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