Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is an activist  and author of many books, including the just published, Men Explain Things to Me (Dispatch Books, Haymarket Books). Her first essay for TomDispatch.com turned into the book Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, since translated into eight languages. Other previous books include: The Faraway Nearby, A Paradise Built in Hell, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, The Battle of The Story of the Battle in Seattle (with her brother David), and Storming The Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics. She is a contributing editor to Harper's Magazine.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
'You Can Crush the Flowers, But You Can’t Stop the Spring'
Last Tuesday, I awoke in lower Manhattan to the whirring of helicopters overhead, a war-zone sound that persisted all day and then started up again that Thursday morning, the two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and a big day of demonstrations in New York City. It was one of the dozens of ways you could tell that the authorities take Occupy Wall Street seriously, even if they profoundly mistake what kind of danger it poses.
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Monday, November 14, 2011
Throwing Out the Master’s Tools and Building a Better House: Thoughts on the Importance of Nonviolence in the Occupy Revolution
Violence Is Conventional Violence is what the police use. It’s what the state uses. If we want a revolution, it’s because we want a better world, because we think we have a bigger imagination, a more beautiful vision. So we’re not violent; we’re not like them in crucial ways. When I see a New York City policeman pepper-spray already captive young women in the face, I am disgusted; I want things to be different. And that pepperspraying incident, terrible though it was for the individuals, did not succeed in any larger way.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Letter to a Dead Man About the Occupation of Hope
Dear young man who died on the fourth day of this turbulent 2011, dear Mohammed Bouazizi, I want to write you about an astonishing year -- with three months yet to run. I want to tell you about the power of despair and the margins of hope and the bonds of civil society. I wish you could see the way that your small life and large death became a catalyst for the fall of so many dictators in what is known as the Arab Spring.
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Monday, August 01, 2011
Hope: The Care and Feeding Of
Recently, Nelson Mandela turned 93, and his nation celebrated noisily, even attempting to break the world record for the most people simultaneously singing “Happy Birthday.” This was the man who, on trial by the South African government in 1964, stood a good chance of being sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead. Given life in prison instead, he was supposed to be silenced. Story over.
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Sunday, May 22, 2011
Worlds Collide in a Luxury Suite: Some Thoughts on the IMF, Global Injustice, and a Stranger on a Train
How can I tell a story we already know too well? Her name was Africa. His was France. He colonized her, exploited her, silenced her, and even decades after it was supposed to have ended, still acted with a high hand in resolving her affairs in places like Côte d’Ivoire, a name she had been given because of her export products, not her own identity.
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Monday, March 28, 2011
Unpacking for a Disaster: What You Need to Survive the Unexpected
The first American responses to the triple calamity in Japan were deeply empathetic and then, as news of the Fukushima nuclear complex’s leaking radiation spread, a lot of people began to freak out about their own safety, and pretty soon you couldn’t find potassium iodide pills anywhere in San Francisco. You couldn’t even -- so a friend tells me -- find them in Brooklyn.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011
The Butterfly and the Boiling Point: Charting the Wild Winds of Change in 2011
Revolution is as unpredictable as an earthquake and as beautiful as spring. Its coming is always a surprise, but its nature should not be.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Iceberg Economies and Shadow Selves: Further Adventures in the Territories of Hope
After the Macondo well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, it was easy enough (on your choice of screen) to see a flaming oil platform, the very sea itself set afire with huge plumes of black smoke rising, and the dark smear of what would become five million barrels of oil beginning to soak birds and beaches.
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Monday, October 25, 2010
Jurassic Ballot: When Corporations Ruled the Earth
This country is being run for the benefit of alien life forms. They’ve invaded; they’ve infiltrated; they’ve conquered; and a lot of the most powerful people on Earth do their bidding, including five out of our nine Supreme Court justices earlier this year and a whole lot of senators and other elected officials all the time. The monsters they serve demand that we ravage the planet and impoverish most human beings so that they might thrive.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010
In New Orleans, Kindness Trumped Chaos: Lessons of Dedication, Solidarity, Love, and Recovery, Five Years After Katrina
The taxi driver called me "girlfriend" and "sweetheart" with the familiar sweetness of New Orleanians, so I figured I could ask a few personal questions. He was from the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the neighborhoods inundated by Katrina--a mostly poor, mostly black edge of the city isolated and imperiled by two manmade canals--and it had taken him three and a half years to return to New Orleans. He still wasn't in his neighborhood, but he was back in the city, and his family was back, and they were determined to come back all the way.
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