The Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces from an Active Life

Bill McKibben, Author . Holt $18 (442p) ISBN 978-0-8050-7627-1

Collected here are 44 trenchant essays written for various publications over the past 25 years by an astute observer of contemporary life and the environment. In some, McKibben reflects on personal experiences; in others, he discusses the sources of his environmental activism. Many of the pieces deal with global warming—the subject of McKibben's first book, The End of Nature , and the folly of endless growth—the theme of his more recent Deep Economy. All have something to say that is worth hearing, but it is the collection's pervasive sense of hope for the world that sets apart these provocative, beautifully written essays. Though McKibben worries about consumerism and the environment, he sees reason for optimism, too, rejoicing in the simple spirituality he finds in his hometown church, the popularity of old-fashioned state fairs, the return of forests to the eastern United States, the transformation of a town in Brazil into a haven for pedestrians, the success of sustainable farming in Cuba and the recent involvement of evangelicals in the environmental movement. “There are all sorts of sweet things in this world,” McKibben writes, “many of which are us, and many of which are not.” Thankfully, McKibben has borne witness to them with grace and style. (Mar. 4)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 03/01/2008
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