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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Saturday, August 16, 2008
Looking Away From Beauty
Every four years I marvel all over again at those bodies honed like precision instruments to defy the bounds of human ability, those people flying with graceful force over hurdles, off diving boards, into somersaults in midair, speeding down tracks, slicing through water. The athletes' bodies are relentlessly particular, concrete, personal, and tangible: the reality of flesh, of heart, of effort, of this tense face, that muscled arm, that DNA, and that training and determination.
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Saturday, June 14, 2008
Revolutions Per Minute: Radical Transformation Is All Around Us
When I was a young activist, the '60s were not yet far enough away, and people still talked about "after the revolution." They still believed in some sort of decisive event that would make everything different-an impossible event, because even a change in administration cannot bring a universal change of heart, and the process of changing imagination and culture is plodding, incremental, frustrating, comes complete with backlashes . . . and is wildly exciting if you slow down enough to see the broad spans of time across which change occurs.
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Sunday, April 13, 2008
Men Explain Things to Me; Facts Didn't Get in Their Way
I still don't know why Sallie and I bothered to go to that party in the forest slope above Aspen. The people were all older than us and dull in a distinguished way, old enough that we, at forty-ish, passed as the occasion's young ladies. The house was great -- if you like Ralph Lauren-style chalets -- a rugged luxury cabin at 9,000 feet complete with elk antlers, lots of kilims, and a wood-burning stove. We were preparing to leave, when our host said, "No, stay a little longer so I can talk to you." He was an imposing man who'd made a lot of money.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Five Years Later: On the Fifth Anniversary of the US Invasion of Iraq
Read on March 19, 2008 at Montgomery and Market Streets in San Francisco as part of the Words Against War, a City Lights Books and Direct Action to Stop the War sponsored read-out of poets and writers on the fifth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq ( actagainstwar.net ).
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Saturday, March 01, 2008
One Nation Under Elvis: An Environmentalism For Us All
The biggest wilderness I've ever been in-a roadless area roughly the size of Portugal with about fifty contiguous watersheds and the whole panoply of charismatic macrofauna doing their thing undisturbed-is another story. This one is about what happened afterward, when I and the Canadian environmentalists I'd been traveling with arrived at the nearest settlement, a logging town in the far northeast corner of British Columbia consisting of a raw row of buildings on either side of the highway to Alaska.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Revolution of the Snails: Encounters with the Zapatistas
I grew up listening to vinyl records, dense spirals of information that we played at 33-1/3 revolutions per minute. The original use of the word revolution was in this sense -- of something coming round or turning round, the revolution of the heavenly bodies, for example. It's interesting to think that just as the word radical comes from the Latin word for "roots" and meant going to the root of a problem, so revolution originally means to rotate, to return, or to cycle, something those who live according to the agricultural cycles of the year know well.
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Friday, December 28, 2007
The Growth of Local Power Is a Bright Spot in Seven Bleak Years of Bush
The centre cannot hold, and that's the good news in the United States these days. Quietly, doggedly, cities, regions, counties and states have refused to march to the Bush administration's drum when it comes to climate change, the environment and the war. Some of the recent changes are so sweeping that they will probably drag the nation along with them - notably efforts by Vermont, Massachusetts and California to set higher vehicle emissions standards and generally treat climate change as an environmental problem that can be addressed by regulation.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The Secret Library of Hope: 12 Books to Stiffen Your Resolve
Hope is an orientation, a way of scanning the wall for cracks -- or building ladders -- rather than staring at its obdurate expanse. It's a worldview, but one informed by experience and the knowledge that people have power; that the power people possess matters; that change has been made by populist movements and dedicated individuals in the past; and that it will be again.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Reasons Not to Glow: On Not Jumping Out of The Frying Pan Into The Eternal Fires
Chances are good, gentle reader, that you are going to have to sit next to someone in the coming year who will assert that nuclear power is the solution to climate change. What will you tell them? There's so much to say. You could be sitting next to someone who hasn't really considered the evidence yet.
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