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Whose Story Is This? Old Conflicts, New Chapters 4.5 starsI love that Haymarket is publishing Solnit s essays each year, and this collection is a bumper crop She s at her best when discussing gender and MeToo is a big theme here, as well as how movements for change get started, and how the affect that change over time.Many of these essays resonated with me personally How the stories of the marginalized need to be not only heard, but believed How women and men who believe women in media helped expose serial abusers How the current US pre 4.5 starsI love that Haymarket is publishing Solnit s essays each year, and this collection is a bumper crop She s at her best when discussing gender and MeToo is a big theme here, as well as how movements for change get started, and how the affect that change over time.Many of these essays resonated with me personally How the stories of the marginalized need to be not only heard, but believed How women and men who believe women in media helped expose serial abusers How the current US president is gaslighting the country, and how that gaslighting affects us as a culture as well as as individuals How necessary change can seem daunting and impossible, but seemingly small movements can do much of the work, sometimes in unexpected ways.While the experiences of LGBTQIA folx and people of color are gestured at I would have liked to see a bitintersectionalism I m looking forward to reading reviews by folks of color in particular because I am sure there are racial dimensions both Solnit and I missed Whose Story Is This stretched my thinking, filled my notebook with notable passages, and gave me hope that we can work our way out of some big, scary problems we re facing as a country and a society It s right up there with Men Explain Things to Me as my favorite Solnit collection Thanks to Haymarket Books for providing a review copy. New Feminist Essays For The MeToo Era From The International Best Selling Author Of Men Explain Things To Me.Who Gets To Shape The Narrative Of Our Times The Current Moment Is A Battle Royale Over That Foundational Power, One In Which Women, People Of Color, Non Straight People Are Telling Other Versions, And White People And Men And Particularly White Men Are Trying To Hang Onto The Old Versions And Their Own Centrality In Whose Story Is This Rebecca Solnit Appraises What S Emerging And Why It Matters And What The Obstacles Are. 4.5 rounded upRebecca Solnit s latest essay collection is perhaps best surmised by the author herself in the acknowledgements This book is, in a sense, transcripts of my side of some conversations with the society around me as it undergoes tumultuous changes, with the changemakers winning some remarkable battles against the forces trying to protect the most malevolent parts of the status quo as it crumbles away It s a book that comes out of the seismic activity in feminism, racial injustice, cl 4.5 rounded upRebecca Solnit s latest essay collection is perhaps best surmised by the author herself in the acknowledgements This book is, in a sense, transcripts of my side of some conversations with the society around me as it undergoes tumultuous changes, with the changemakers winning some remarkable battles against the forces trying to protect the most malevolent parts of the status quo as it crumbles away It s a book that comes out of the seismic activity in feminism, racial injustice, climate action, and other human rights movements, out o the way it s changing the public landscape right down to street names and breaking old frameworks.And, for me, this is Solnit at her best these essays were concise, compelling and accessible It s great that these collections are being published at an almost annual rate now, as it means they re super up to date and capture the zeitgeist of these strange times we re living through These were the perfect bite sized pieces to occupy my time on my daily commute I usually like to read light fare on the bus, but I found these essays to be perfectly suitable as well, something I couldn t say of other feminist works Some cite it as one of Solnit s detractors, but she has a rather peculiar take on feminist discourse an optimistic one And by that I don t mean that it s the sort of white feminism that doesn t touch on intersectional issues, pretending they don t exist, but rather These were the perfect bite sized pieces to occupy my time on my daily commute I usually like to read light fare on the bus, but I found these essays to be perfectly suitable as well, something I couldn t say of other feminist works Some cite it as one of Solnit s detractors, but she has a rather peculiar take on feminist discourse an optimistic one And by that I don t mean that it s the sort of white feminism that doesn t touch on intersectional issues, pretending they don t exist, but rather the fact that she chooses to focus on the progress already made, and how that will impact the challenges still ahead, rather than writing from a grim, confrontational place as so many others do It s refreshing, and I think that s why she s so popular it s a hopeful and palatable sort of feminism that doesn t offend because it doesn t directly call for action and doesn t offer clear cut solutions, but rather appraises what s already happened, or is happening, and why it matters She makes her points in such a simple, rational way that most people who are in any way left leaning will wholeheartedly agree As far as feminist writing goes, this is as light as it gets, which doesn t mean that it isn t worthwhile or good just not groundbreaking But there is something to be said about writing so agreeable that people who otherwise wouldn t think about certain issues will still read it, and perhaps think about it With its simplicity and hopefulness, it has the potential to be a catalyst for change, thanks to its mass market appeal.This collection felt muchcohesive than the other one I ve read as the title suggests, it concerns itself with who shapes the political, social, historical, etc narratives who wields the power to shape what reality we live in, whose side of the story is believed, and what sort of past is remembered The most recurring themes in Whose Story Is Thisare MeToo, climate change, and the power of group movements to cause slow but steady shifts in perspective over long periods small cultural changes that pave the way for watershed moments like the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same sex marriage in all US states Those aren t the sort of dramatic and inspirational stories about individual heroes people generally like to hear about, and no one will ever make a blockbuster Hollywood movie about them, but these many unnamed and unsung heroes are the ones with the power to lay the groundwork for significant change, because any movement isthan the sum of its partsIf you think you re woke, it s because someone woke you up, so thank the human alarm clocks It s easy now to assume that one s perspective on race, gender, orientation, and the rest are signs of inherent virtue, but a lot of ideas currently in circulation are gifts that arrived recently, through the labor of othersNote I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review All my book reviews can be found here Buy on BookDepository Meh I really wanted and tried to like this but I didn t.Too one sided and extreme for me The examples given seem like she chose them specifically to support her opinions and very rarely ever showed another perspective I agree with some of the points but felt myself pulling away even on topics I agreed with the author on simply due to how extreme she is I would have given this one star but the final essay at the very end is brilliant Wish I only read that one the last three pages rather Meh I really wanted and tried to like this but I didn t.Too one sided and extreme for me The examples given seem like she chose them specifically to support her opinions and very rarely ever showed another perspective I agree with some of the points but felt myself pulling away even on topics I agreed with the author on simply due to how extreme she is I would have given this one star but the final essay at the very end is brilliant Wish I only read that one the last three pages rather than the entire book Overall, the book is well written and has potential I just wish she showed some other perspectives besides her own viewpoint as this would have strengthened the book immensely Another autumn, another collection of essays by Rebecca Solnit I could get used to this rhythm Solnit s collection of essays in Whose Story Is This focuses on women, immigrants, and the earth think climate change stories that we usually discount or people that some may move off stage I thought her essays were as compelling as ever, but the theme was not as clear in this collection I m not sure that she did a lot of revising or writing a preface that wouldclosely link the essays Another autumn, another collection of essays by Rebecca Solnit I could get used to this rhythm Solnit s collection of essays in Whose Story Is This focuses on women, immigrants, and the earth think climate change stories that we usually discount or people that some may move off stage I thought her essays were as compelling as ever, but the theme was not as clear in this collection I m not sure that she did a lot of revising or writing a preface that wouldclosely link the essays together All in all, a brilliant collection Anything Rebecca Solnit writes is worth reading I think Rebecca Solnit is one of the great and necessary voices in America, and I want everyone to read her These essays fill me with both rage and hope, and I guess we need both to survive this country. This book made me hopeful, made me furious, made me think, and made me laugh Rebecca Solnit is so brilliant. Full review at if you care about equal rights I would like to think is everyone, but, well , non fiction lovers ,Who gets to shape the narrative of our times The current moment is a battle royale over that foundational power, one in which women, people of color, non straight people Full review at if you care about equal rights I would like to think is everyone, but, well , non fiction lovers ,Who gets to shape the narrative of our times The current moment is a battle royale over that foundational power, one in which women, people of color, non straight people are telling other versions, and white people and men and particularly white men are trying to hang onto the old versions and their own centrality I picked this up earlier in the month to finally join in with OurSharedShelf I was starting their backlist but decided to jump in and be up to date with the discussions I m so glad I did, joining in with this club is another of my NY Resolutions It is not news to the majority of us that narratives are controlled, in favor of cis white males Entire histories written and sold from one perspective, despite the mounting evidence otherwise The refusal to acknowledge anything other than their version, their fantasy reality is entirely personified in the current US President So comical yet so utterly dangerousOverall I rated this highly, given this is my first deliberate read of a feminist essay, that I am totally out of touch with historical changes on a global scale on the equal rights, there was therefore a lot of new information to digest While there were many sentiments that I was oh so familiar with, I am sure there are many who are not I m unsure who the intended audience is, at times I felt Solnit was preaching to the choir However, these essays left me feeling furious and hopeful, it stretched and blew my mind, and in a few instances, a chuckle Rebecca Solnit is an inspiration to me She takes everyday things like urban geography and exposes the shit for exactly what it is You want to know what is up, turn to Rebecca Solnit One of my favourite moments in this book is the All the Rage segment under The shouters and the silenced, exposing how much of a human safety issue male rage is Her points and references are crystal clear and there s really no disputing her More men, and the not all men men should really read her work I loved Rebecca Solnit is an inspiration to me She takes everyday things like urban geography and exposes the shit for exactly what it is You want to know what is up, turn to Rebecca Solnit One of my favourite moments in this book is the All the Rage segment under The shouters and the silenced, exposing how much of a human safety issue male rage is Her points and references are crystal clear and there s really no disputing her More men, and the not all men men should really read her work I loved this and it s a highly recommended read


About the Author: Rebecca Solnit

Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author ofthan twenty books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including Call Them By Their True Names Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction , Cinderella Liberator, Men Explain Things to Me, The Mother of All Questions, and Hope in the Dark, and co creator of the City of Women map, all published by Haymarket Books a trilogy of atlases of American cities, The Faraway Nearby, A Paradise Built in Hell The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Wanderlust A History of Walking, and River of Shadows Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award Her forthcoming memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence, is scheduled to release in March, 2020 A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at the Guardian and a regular contributor to Literary Hub.


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