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Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays)

By: Rebecca Solnit

Publisher: HAYMARKET BOOKS

Imprint: Haymarket Books

Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9781608469468

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Hardcover | Audio

On Sale: | Pages: 166

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National Book Award Longlist Winner of the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction Winner of the Foreword INDIE Editor's Choice Prize for Nonfiction "Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading." --The New Republic "Solnit's exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy." --Elle Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books, including the international bestseller Men Explain Things to Me. Called "the voice of the resistance" by the New York Times, she has emerged as an essential guide to our times, through her incisive commentary on feminism, violence, ecology, hope, and everything in between. In this powerful and wide-ranging collection, Solnit turns her attention to battles over meaning, place, language, and belonging at the heart of the defining crises of our time. She explores the way emotions shape political life, electoral politics, police shootings and gentrification, the life of an extraordinary man on death row, the pipeline protest at Standing Rock, and the existential threat posed by climate change. The work of changing the world sometimes requires changing the story, the names, and inventing or popularizing new names and terms and phrases. Calling things by their true names can also cut through the lies that excuse, disguise, avoid, or encourage inaction, indifference, obliviousness in the face of injustice and violence.
While Ms. Solnit's subjects certainly don't make light reading, she avoids pessimism by pointing out bright spots in the American political landscape.... This call to readers � to stand up, to take action, to refuse the dual temptations of passivity and nihilism � is the most powerful idea in a book full of them. Names and ideas are important, and using one's voice to speak those names and ideas is the most important work to be done.
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ms. Solnit is a capable essayist, and there's a powerful quality to her unconventional and abrasive style, but one often gets the feeling she's writing for a small set of her San Francisco friends. She dishes out highly spurious claims with no indication that anybody would think twice about them.... There's a great deal factually wrong with Ms. Solnit's breezy observation about the homeless.... But anticipating counterarguments isn't Ms. Solnit's thing. Far easier to denounce the enemy and enjoy the knowing nods of your friends.
—Wall Street Journal
Leave it to Rebecca Solnit to give new meaning to a familiar journalistic trope in her essay "Break the Story." The essay, part of her potent new collection, "Call Them by Their True Names" � and originally presented as a commencement speech for UC Berkeley journalism graduates � urges fledgling newshounds to undermine the dominant paradigm, which erases or marginalizes key players and focuses on those with power, wealth or celebrity.... In this collection, she takes on issues as diverse � and to Solnit � as interconnected, as climate change, feminism, homelessness, the death penalty and the brutal founding of the state of California. The essays are witty, well researched, and pack a powerful political punch.
—San Francisco Chronicle
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