Author(s): Rebecca Solnit
With Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argued that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next.Originally published in 2004, now with a new foreword and afterword, Solnit's influential book shines a light into the darkness of our time in an unforgettable new edition.
A short, elegant, passionate polemic on the history and future of progressive political engagement -- ROBERT MACFARLANE Time and again Solnit comes running towards you with a bunch of hopes she has found and picked in the undergrowth of the times we are living in. And you remember that hope is not a guarantee for tomorrow but a detonator of energy for action today * John Berger * An intensely personal account, a meditation on activism and hope * Guardian * Like Simon Schama, Solnit is a cultural historian in the desert-mystic mode, trailing ideas like swarms of butterflies * Harper's * Fascinating, inspiring and beautifully written * George Monbiot * Hope in the Dark is great. The powerful in this world seem to want to frighten us into following their orders unquestioningly and this book offers us the key to liberation - and that key is hope * Tony Benn * This is a book to be cherished, something to keep close at hand for those dark moments when you wonder whether the world really is a better place than it was 50 years ago * Independent on Sunday * Her passionate defence of direct action is a refreshingly corrective, while, crucially, her celebration of people power is proactive rather than complacent * Metro * A jewel of a book. Solnit reveals where we were, where we are, and the step-by-step advances that have been made in human rights, as we stubbornly stumble out of the darkness -- STUDS TERKEL A book to be cherished * Independent on Sunday * In this extraordinary book, Rebecca Solnit's prose grows poetic wings that enable her to soar to a visionary height. The good news that she brings back is that our struggles-with persistence and courage-are indeed the seeds of kindness -- MIKE DAVIS A slim, potent book penned in the wake of the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq; a book that has grown only more relevant and poignant in the decade since -- MARIA POPOVA Rebecca Solnit is a national literary treasure: a passionate, close-to-the-ground reporter with the soul and voice of a philosopher-poet. And, unlike so many who write about the great injustices of this world, she is an optimist, whose faith is deeply grounded in a knowledge of history. This is a book to give you not just hope but zest for the battles ahead -- ADAM HOCHSCHILD Hope In the Dark changed my life. During a period of pervasive cynicism and political despair, the first edition of this book provided me with a model for activist engagement that I have held dear ever since. Today, as movements for climate, racial, and economic justice sweep the globe, its message is more relevant than ever -- ASTRA TAYLOR No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium. Rebecca Solnit writes as independently as Orwell; she's a great muralist, a Diego Rivera of words. Literary and progressive America is in a Solnit moment, which given her endless talent should last a very long time -- BILL MCKIBBEN
Rebecca Solnit has written eighteen acclaimed works of non-fiction, including Wanderlust: A History of Walking and A Field Guide to Getting Lost. An activist, columnist and cultural historian, she has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lannan Literary Award. She lives in San Francisco.