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The life story of Coretta Scott King―wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist―as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.
Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.
As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.
Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.
12 February 2015. The South African secret services block the cellphones of journalists covering Parliament. Opposition party members are violently thrown out of the House. President Jacob Zuma – accused of corruption on a grand scale – laughs uproariously. Where is the country of Nelson Mandela headed?
The institutions of democracy are falling apart or being captured by a narrow and deeply corrupt elite built around Zuma. Its infrastructure is collapsing. Its economy cannot provide succor to the eight million who don’t have jobs. Protests over service delivery are on the rise. Does South Africa have the resolve and the leadership to stem the slide? In a devastating, searing, honest paean to his country, renowned political journalist and commentator Justice Malala forces South Africa to come face to face with the country it has become: corrupt, crime-ridden, compromised and its institutions captured by a selfish political elite that is bent on enriching itself at the expense of the increasingly marginalised masses.
In this deeply personal reflection, Malala’s diagnosis is devastating: South Africa is on the brink. He does not stop there. Malala believes that we have the ingredients to turn things around: our lauded Constitution, our wealth of talent, our history of activism and a democratic trajectory that can be used to stop the rot from setting in. But he has a warning: South Africans need to wake up now, or else they will soon find their country has been stolen.
Op 'n dag skraap ek my moed bymekaar: 'Eugene, hoe voel dit om 'n ander mens dood te maak?' Sy gesigspiere trek onwillekeurig in afgryse. 'Die mens, die slagoffer, gee 'n reuk af,' se hy. 'Ek kan die reuk vandag steeds herroep. Dit walg my tot in my siel toe, daardie reuk van vrees wat deur daardie mens se sweetgaatjies en liggaamsvog na buite bars.' Die bloed van tientalle anti-apartheidaktiviste sit aan Eugene de Kock hande. Vir die meeste Suid-Afrikaners is hy die vergestalting van boosheid. Is daar enige menslikheid aan die man wat talle 'n monster noem en hoe het hy so geword? Anemari Jansen gaan soek na antwoorde in De Kock se streng grootwordjare, sy eerste blootstelling aan grutonele as jong polisieman aan die Oos-Rand en in die Grensoorlog waar hy as lid van Koevoet 'n jagter van mense geword het. Jansen het eksklusiewe toegang tot De Kock se familie, asook oud-Koevoet- en Vlakplaaskollegas gehad. Sy skets ’n prentjie van 'n hoogs intelligente, dog komplekse mens wat van kindsbeen af 'n buitestaander was. De Kock het ook sy dagboeke en ’n ongepubliseerde manuskrip aan haar beskikbaar gestel – hieruit haal sy groot dele direk aan. In sy eie woorde is hy skreiend eerlik – De Kock skram nie daarvan weg om van sy wandade in detail te beskryf of sy opdraggewers te identifiseer nie. Die boek skets nie net die era en omstandighede wat tot Vlakplaas gelei het nie, maar bied ook insae in De Kock se menslikheid.
Krish Naidoo practised as a human rights lawyer in Johannesburg in the 1980s.
This book records his life, the political trials he was involved in & his activities in sport, culture & the legal fraternity.
Anelia Schutte grew up in Knysna – a beautiful town on the coast of South Africa, centred around a picturesque lagoon and popular with tourists. But there was another side to Knysna that those tourists never saw. In the hills surrounding the town with its exclusively white population lay the townships and squatter camps where the coloured and black people were forced to live.
Most white children would never go to the other side of the hill, but Anelia did. Her earliest memories are of being the only white girl at a crèche for black children that her mother, Owéna, set up in the 1980s as a social worker serving the black community. Thirty years on, Anelia, now living in London, yearns to find out more about her mother’s work, and to understand the political unrest that clouded South Africa at the time. She returns to Knysna to find the truth about the town she grew up in, from the stories and memories of the people who were there.
For The People is an exploration of apartheid South Africa through the eyes of Owéna – a white woman who worked tirelessly for the black people of Knysna and found herself swept up in their struggle. They called her Nobantu: ‘for the people'.
Van laaitie tot politieke kryger, bandiet tot generaal-majoor, ondergrondse operateur tot presidensiële lyfwag…
Van sy kleintyd in Elsiesrivier neem Jeremy Vearey se lewe talle onvoorspelbare wendings. Sy eiesoortige vertelling sluit die ouere manne van sy jeug in, die ooms by die damstafel, kerkjeugkampe en die Kommuniste-manifes, skoolhou en ondergrondse werk vir MK, en sy aanhouding op Robbeneiland. As Mandela se lyfwag help hy ’n opstand in die Karoo ontlont, voor hy deel word van die nuwe SAPD, waar hy saam met die gewese vyand terrorisme en Kaapse bendes takel.
En onder alles loop ’n donker stroom.
When Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party and heir apparent to Nelson Mandela, was brutally slain in his driveway in April 1993, he left a shocked and grieving South Africa on the precipice of civil war. But to 12-year-old Lindiwe, it was the love of her life, her daddy, who had been shockingly ripped from her life. In this intimate and brutally honest memoir, 36-year-old Lindiwe remembers the years she shared with her loving father, and the toll that his untimely death took on the Hani family. She lays family skeletons bare and brings to the fore her own downward spiral into cocaine and alcohol addiction, a desperate attempt to avoid the pain of his brutal parting.
While the nation continued to revere and honour her father’s legacy, for Lindiwe, being Chris Hani’s daughter became an increasingly heavy burden to bear.
"For as long as I can remember, I’d grown up feeling that I was the daughter of Chris Hani and that I was useless. My father was such a huge figure, such an icon to so many people, it felt like I could never be anything close to what he achieved – so why even try? Of course my addiction to booze and cocaine just made me feel my worthlessness even more".
In a stunning turnaround, she faces her demons, not just those that haunted her through her addiction, but, with the courage that comes with sobriety, she comes face to face with her father’s two killers – Janus Walus, still incarcerated, and Clive Derby Lewis, released in 2015 on medical parole. In a breathtaking twist of humanity, while searching for the truth behind her father’s assassination, Lindiwe Hani ultimately makes peace with herself and honours her father’s gigantic spirit.
For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein has been the foremost chronicler of the economic war waged on both people and planet - and the champion of a sweeping environmental agenda with justice at its centre. Her books have defined our era. On Fire gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing from the frontline of climate change, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of what we choose to do next. These essays, reports and lectures show Klein at her most prophetic and philosophical, investigating the climate crisis not only as a profound political challenge but also as a spiritual and imaginative one. Delving into topics ranging from the clash between ecological time and our culture of "perpetual now," to rising white supremacy and fortressed borders as a form of "climate barbarism," this is a rousing call to action for a planet on the brink. With reports spanning from the ghostly Great Barrier Reef, to the annual smoke-choked skies of the Pacific Northwest, from post-hurricane Puerto Rico, to a Vatican attempting an unprecedented 'ecological conversion,' Klein makes the case that we will rise to the existential challenge of climate change only if we are willing to transform the systems that produced this crisis. An expansive, far-ranging exploration that sees the battle for a greener world as indistinguishable from the fight for our lives, On Fire captures the burning urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the energy of a rising political movement demanding change now.
Sol Plaatje is celebrated as one of South Africa’s most accomplished political and literary figures. A pioneer in the history of the black press, editor of several newspapers, he was one of the founders of the African National Congress in 1912, led its campaign against the notorious Natives Land Act of 1913, and twice travelled overseas to represent the interests of his people. He wrote a number of books, including – in English – Native Life in South Africa (1916), a powerful denunciation of the Land Act and the policies that led to it, and a pioneering novel, Mhudi (1930). Years after his death his diary of the siege of Mafeking was retrieved and published, providing a unique view of one of the best known episodes of the South African War of 1899–1902. At the same time Plaatje was a proud Morolong, fascinated by his people’s history. He was dedicated to Setswana, and set out to preserve its traditions and oral forms so as to create a written literature. He translated a number of Shakespeare’s plays into Setswana, the first in any African language, collected proverbs and stories, and even worked on a new dictionary. He fought long battles with those who thought they knew better over the particular form its orthography should take. This book tells the story of Plaatje’s remarkable life, setting it in the context of the changes that overtook South Africa during his lifetime, and the huge obstacles he had to overcome. It draws upon extensive new research in archives in southern Africa, Europe and the US, as well as an expanding scholarship on Plaatje and his writings. This biography sheds new light not only on Plaatje’s struggles and achievements but upon his personal life and his relationships with his wife and family, friends and supporters. It pays special attention to his formative years, looking to his roots in chiefly societies, his education and upbringing on a German-run mission, and his exposure to the legal and political ideas of the nineteenth-century Cape Colony as key factors in inspiring and sustaining a life of more or less ceaseless endeavour.
From the bestselling author of Eating Animals and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - a brilliant, fresh take on climate change and what we can do about it
Climate crisis is the single biggest threat to human survival. And it is happening right now. We all understand that time is running out - but do we truly believe it? And, caught between the seemingly unimaginable and the apparently unthinkable, how can we take the first step towards action, to arrest our race to extinction?
We can begin with our knife and fork. The link between farming animals and the climate crisis is barely discussed, because giving up our meat-based diets feels like an impossible ask. But we don't have to go cold turkey. Cutting out animal products for just part of the day is enough to change the world.
The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves - with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. But we have done it before and we can do it again. Collective action is the way to save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat, and don't eat, for breakfast.
With his distinctive wit, insight and humanity, Jonathan Safran Foer presents the essential debate of our time as no one else could, bringing it to vivid and urgent life and offering us all a much-needed way out.
Bantu Holomisa is one of South Africa’s most respected and popular political figures. Born in the Transkei in 1955, he attended an elite school for the sons of chiefs and headmen. While other men his age were joining Umkhonto weSizwe, Holomisa enrolled in the Transkeian Defence Force and rose rapidly through the ranks.
As head of the Transkeian Defence Force, Holomisa led successive coups against the homeland regimes and then became the head of its military government. He turned the Transkei into a ‘liberated space’, giving shelter to ANC and PAC activists, and declared his intention of holding a referendum on the reincorporation of the Transkei into South Africa. These actions brought him immense popularity and the military dictator became a liberation hero for many South Africans.
When the unbanned ANC held its first election for its national executive in 1994, Holomisa, who had by now joined the party, received the most votes, beating long-time veterans and party stalwarts. He and Mandela developed a close relationship, and Holomisa served in Mandela’s cabinet as deputy minister for environmental affairs and tourism. As this biography reveals, the relationship with both Mandela and the ANC broke down after Holomisa testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, among other issues, that Stella Sigcau and her cabinet colleagues had accepted a bribe from Sol Kerzner.
After being expelled from the ANC, Holomisa formed his own party, the United Democratic Movement, with Roelf Meyer. As leader of the UDM, Holomisa has played a prominent role in building coalitions among opposition parties and in leading important challenges to the dominant party.
This biography, written in collaboration with Holomisa, presents an engaging and revealing account of a man who has made his mark as a game changer in South African politics.
'Her best book yet, a dazzling hymn to hope, uniting the past and the present with a chorus of voices' Observer 'A story of our times... Savour it, because there is just one instalment left' Evening Standard 'Spring weaves a story around the most pressing issues of our time... Smith tells stories in a voice you can't help but listen to' The Times From the bestselling author of Autumn and Winter, as well as the Baileys Prize-winning How to be both, comes the next installment in the remarkable, once-in-a-generation masterpiece, the Seasonal Quartet What unites Katherine Mansfield, Charlie Chaplin, Shakespeare, Rilke, Beethoven, Brexit, the present, the past, the north, the south, the east, the west, a man mourning lost times, a woman trapped in modern times? Spring. The great connective. With an eye to the migrancy of story over time, and riffing on Pericles, one of Shakespeare's most resistant and rollicking works, Ali Smith tells the impossible tale of an impossible time. In a time of walls and lockdown Smith opens the door. The time we're living in is changing nature. Will it change the nature of story? Hope springs eternal. Praise for the Seasonal Quartet: 'Transcendental writing about art, death, political lies, and all the dimensions of love. It's a case not so much of reading between the lines as of being blinded by the light between the lines - in a good way' Deborah Levy on Autumn 'The novel of the year is obviously Autumn, which managed the miracle of making at least a kind of sense out of post-Brexit Britain' Olivia Laing, Observer on Autumn 'Ali Smith is flat-out brilliant, and she's on fire these days... Combining brainy playfulness with depth, topicality with timelessness, and complexity with accessibility while delivering an impassioned defence of human decency and art' NPR on Winter 'Rank[s] among the most original, consoling and inspiring of the artistic responses to 'this mad and bitter mess' of the present' Financial Times on Winter 'A novel of great ferocity, tenderness and generosity of spirit that you feel Dickens would have recognised... Smith is engaged in an extended process of mythologizing the present states of Britain... Luminously beautiful' Observer on Winter
Most books about the environmental crisis are densely academic, depressingly doom-laden and crammed with impersonal statistics. We are the Weather is different - accessible, immediate and with a single clear solution that individual readers can put into practice straight away. A significant proportion of global carbon emissions come from farming meat. Giving up meat is incredibly hard and nobody is perfect - but just cutting back is much easier and still has a huge positive effect on the environment. Just changing our dinners - cutting out meat for one meal per day - is enough to change the world. With his distinctive wit, insight and humanity, Foer frames this essential debate as no one else could, bringing it to vivid and urgent life.
This is the second of three volumes in a series that traces the leadership thoughts and philosophical disposition of Professor Arthur G.O. Mutambara over a period of 35 years. The dramatic removal of Robert Mugabe by a people-backed coup d’etat in November 2017 was greeted with euphoria and high expectations. However, the ensuing goodwill was rapidly squandered – the dream was deferred. Zimbabwe’s elections in July 2018 generated tremendous hope – the exhilaration for change was palpable. Alas, it was not to be. The vision of a peaceful, democratic and wealthy nation characterised by inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity – the ‘Zimbabwean Dream’ – has proven difficult to attain. In fact, this ambition has been hard to achieve in most African countries. Hence, Mutambara’s work is in search of the elusive ‘African Dream’. The trilogy constitutes a fascinating intellectual and political journey by the man who would become Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe at the age of 42. It is a collection of grounded reflections presented together with selected autobiographical material. The work is a product of rigorous and peer-reviewed research and analysis. It contributes to the epistemology of thought leadership from the perspective of an engineer-cum-politician, bridging the knowledge gap between the two disciplines. This volume – The Path to Power – deals with Mutambara’s return to Africa from the United States and his re-entry into Zimbabwean politics, leading to his swearing-in as Deputy Prime Minister. The book discusses the build-up to the disputed 2008 elections and the chaotic aftermath. An erudite and blistering speech Mutambara gave led to his arrest and detention. Neither SADC nor the AU recognised the sham and genocidal June 2008 run-off election. This led to the SADC mediation efforts, facilitated by SA’s Thabo Mbeki. The intervention produced the GPA – the basis for the GNU. This well-researched book is the first literary contribution by someone intimately involved with both the GPA and GNU. In 2018, with the rigging of elections in Zimbabwe now at an industrial scale, the book articulates the lessons to be drawn from such polls. It proffers a strategic way forward – the path to power. The book is organised into three sections: Return to Africa and Re-entry into Politics (2003–2005); Building a Viable Alternative to ZANU-PF (2006–2007); and Journey Towards the GNU (2008–2009).
The Occupy movement managed to draw global attention to the massive disparity of income, wealth and privilege held by 1% of the population in nations across the world. In The 1% and the rest of us, Tim Di Muzio explores what it means to be part of a socio-economic order presided over by the super-rich and their political servants. Incorporating provocative and original arguments about philanthropy, social wealth and the political role of the super-rich Di Muzio reveals how the 1% are creating a world unto themselves in which the accumulation of ever more money is really a symbolic drive to control society and the natural environment. A timely and innovative book that provides readers with the first global political economy of the 1%, while demonstrating how resistance can continue to challenge their rule.
The recent activism film Just Do It (2011) had a message: 'Get off your arse and change the world'. But, as Michael Norton here implores, no-one has to be that energetic. Click2Change advocates sitting back and changing the world from computers, iPads and iPhones. Click2Change offers a wide range of world-changing thing to do on the internet: such as becoming an e-activist or recycling unwanted stuff. With plenty of ideas, information and lots of websites to access, readers will be able to make their mark on the world with a click of the mouse.
Originally published in June 2007, this book aims to keep intact the soul of Biko and his teachings in a book of quotes. This is done through the reproduction of key quotes on the fundamental subject matter put forward by The Black Consciousness ideology. Some of the quotes included are from Father Stubbs and Millard Arnold.
Edited by Millard Arnold, he brings to life the words of Biko’s revolutionary thought which encompassed a wide range of subject matter pertaining to the black human experience. Ranging from Black Expectations, through to Liberals, as well as the topic of integration. The book includes some of Biko’s quotes on different subjects:
‘The future will always be shaped by the sequence of present-day events.’
‘Being black is not a matter of pigmentation being black is a reflection of a mental attitude.’
‘The philosophy of Black Consciousness, therefore, expresses group pride and the determination by the blacks to rise and attain the envisaged self.’
There is a current revival of Black Consciousness in South Africa, as political and student movements – as well as academics and campaigners working in decolonisation – reconfigure the continued struggle for socio-economic revolution with this ideology at the forefront. Black Consciousness is also increasingly finding solidarity with similar movements around the world, in particular #BlackLivesMatter in the United States and the black power campaign gaining momentum around the memory of the Mangrove Nine in the United Kingdom. Yet there is still not enough known about the history of Black Consciousness in South Africa, nor its particular solidarity in other parts of the world.
Finding itself at the centre of decolonisation debates and renewed struggles for socio-economic power in the year of the 40th anniversary of Biko’s murder, The Black Consciousness Reader is an essential collection of history, interviews and opinions about the philosophy being revived to finally bring revolution to South Africa. This would be not so much a violent overthrow as a deep change to a nation’s thinking to properly acknowledge its Blackness, and through that its entire past, a broader sweep of its heroes and a wider understanding of its intellectual and political influences. Although Biko would be the most influential personality throughout this history, the book intends to trace the history of Black Consciousness in South Africa also through its other primary personalities and events in politics – predominantly black and woman power – as well as art and music.
Steve Biko, Onkgopotse Tiro, Deborah Matshoba, Don Mattera, Neville Alexander, Florence Ribeiro, the Black Power solidarity movement, Rick Turner, Strini Moodley, the lyrical work of Lefifi Tladi and Dashiki are among the many subjects included in this important work.
On the 27th August, 1963, the day before Martin Luther King electrified the world from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the immortal words, "I Have a Dream", the life of another giant of the Civil Rights movement quietly drew to a close in Accra, Ghana: W.E.B. Du Bois. In this new biography, Bill V. Mullen interprets the seismic political developments of the Twentieth Century through Du Bois's revolutionary life. Du Bois was born in Massachusetts in 1868, just three years after formal emancipation of America's slaves. In his extraordinarily long and active political life, he would emerge as the first black man to earn a PhD from Harvard; surpass Booker T. Washington as the leading advocate for African American rights; co-found the NAACP, and involve himself in anti imperialist and anti-colonial struggles across Asia and Africa. Beyond his Civil Rights work, Mullen also examines Du Bois's attitudes towards socialism, the USSR, China's Communist Revolution, and the intersectional relationship between capitalism, poverty and racism. An accessible introduction to a towering figure of American Civil Rights, perfect for anyone wanting to engage with Du Bois's life and work.
Twenty years, a thousand pages, and now a single beautiful edition of Arundhati Roy's complete non-fiction. My Seditious Heart collects the work of a two-decade period when Arundhati Roy devoted herself to the political essay as a way of opening up space for justice, rights and freedoms in an increasingly hostile environment. Taken together, these essays trace her twenty year journey from the Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things to the extraordinary The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: a journey marked by compassion, clarity and courage. Radical and readable, they speak always in defence of the collective, of the individual and of the land, in the face of the destructive logic of financial, social, religious, military and governmental elites. In constant conversation with the themes and settings of her novels, the essays form a near-unbroken memoir of Arundhati Roy's journey as both a writer and a citizen, of both India and the world, from 'The End of Imagination', which begins this book, to 'My Seditious Heart', with which it ends.
Stefaans Coetzee was net 19 jaar oud toe hy op Oukersdag ’n bom in die Shoprite in Worcester geplant het. Vier mense – waarvan drie kinders – het dié dag gesterf en Stefaans se lewe het onherroeplik verander.
Hy is tot moordenaar veroordeel en vir 40 jaar tronk toe gestuur, maar in die tronk verander sy lewe dramaties en hy begin anders kyk na homself en die mense rondom hom.
Hy ontmoet vir “Oom Gene” (Eugene de Kock) wat hom begin bearbei om met sy slagoffers te versoen.
Ná 18 jaar word Stefaans op parool vrygelaat. Kort daarna vervul hy sy lewensdroom om die Comrades-marathon te voltooi. Hy doen dit ter ere aan die Worcester-slagoffers en oorhandig sy medalje aan een van dié mense as teken van berou en versoening.
In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress's development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa forced a reconsideration of South Africa's internal and external boundaries, not least by the ANC thinkers-led by Albert Luthuli- centered in Durban. There, they developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa's simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character. In describing this process, Soske makes a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.
First published in 2001, Achille Mbembe's landmark book, On the postcolony, continues to renew our understanding of power and subjectivity in Africa. This edition has been updated with a foreword by professor of African literature, Isabel Hofmeyr, and a preface by the author. In a series of provocative essays, Mbembe contests die hard Africanist and nativist perspectives as well as some of the key assumptions of postcolonial theory. Through his provocation, the `banality of power', Mbembe reinterprets the meanings of death, utopia and the divine libido as part of the new theoretical perspectives he offers on the constitution of power in Africa. He works with the complex registers of bodily subjectivity - violence, wonder and laughter - to contest categories of oppression and resistance, autonomy and subjection, and state and civil society that marked the social theory of the late twentieth century. On the postcolony, like Frantz Fanon's Black skins, white masks, will remain a text of profound importance in the discourse of anticolonial and anti-imperial struggles.
The founder of the international Transition Towns movement asks why true creative, positive thinking is in decline, asserts that it's more important now than ever, and suggests ways our communities can revive and reclaim it.
In these times of deep division and deeper despair, if there is a consensus about anything in the world, it is that the future is going to be awful. There is an epidemic of loneliness, an epidemic of anxiety, a mental health crisis of vast proportions, especially among young people. There’s a rise in extremist movements and governments. Catastrophic climate change. Biodiversity loss. Food insecurity. The fracturing of ecosystems and communities beyond, it seems, repair. The future―to say nothing of the present―looks grim.
But as Transition movement cofounder Rob Hopkins tells us, there is plenty of evidence that things can change, and cultures can change, rapidly, dramatically, and unexpectedly―for the better. He has seen it happen around the world and in his own town of Totnes, England, where the community is becoming its own housing developer, energy company, enterprise incubator, and local food network―with cascading benefits to the community that extend far beyond the projects themselves.
We do have the capability to effect dramatic change, Hopkins argues, but we’re failing because we’ve largely allowed our most critical tool to languish: human imagination. As defined by social reformer John Dewey, imagination is the ability to look at things as if they could be otherwise. The ability, that is, to ask What if? And if there was ever a time when we needed that ability, it is now.
Imagination is central to empathy, to creating better lives, to envisioning and then enacting a positive future. Yet imagination is also demonstrably in decline at precisely the moment when we need it most. In this passionate exploration, Hopkins asks why imagination is in decline, and what we must do to revive and reclaim it. Once we do, there is no end to what we might accomplish.
From What Is to What If is a call to action to reclaim and unleash our collective imagination, told through the stories of individuals and communities around the world who are doing it now, as we speak, and witnessing often rapid and dramatic change for the better.
Indecent Advances is a skilful hybrid of true crime and social history that examines the often-coded portrayal of crimes against gay men in the decades before Stonewall.
New York University professor and critic James Polchin illustrates how homosexuals were criminalized, and their murders justified, in the popular imagination from 1930s ‘sex panics’ to Cold War fear of Communists and homosexuals in government. He shows the vital that role crime stories played in ideas of normalcy and deviancy, and how those stories became tools to discriminate against and harm gay men.
J. Edgar Hoover, Kerouac, Burroughs, Patricia Highsmith, James Baldwin, Alan Ginsberg and Gore Vidal all feature.
Published around the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in 1969, Indecent Advances investigates how queer men navigated a society that criminalized them. Polchin shows how this discrimination was ultimately transformed by gay rights activists before Stonewall, and explores its resonances up to and including the policing of Gianni Versace’s death in 1997.
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