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Whose Story Is This? Old Conflicts, New Chapters

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Whose Story Is This? Old Conflicts, New Chapters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    4.5 rounded up Rebecca 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, 4.5 rounded up Rebecca 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Foll

    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 would more closely 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 would more closely link the essays together. All in all, a brilliant collection. Anything Rebecca Solnit writes is worth reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kazen

    4.5 stars I 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 4.5 stars I 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 bit more intersectionalism. 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    My first encounter with Solnit was her acclaimed feminist essay collection Men Explain Things to Me, the titular piece contained therein being (in)famous for having coined the word "mansplaining". I haven't kept up with her work since, although her later collections are all on my virtual to-be-read-pile—so thank you to the publisher for providing me with this eARC of her new collection of fifteen essays, to be published on September 3rd! These were the perfect bite-sized pieces to occupy my time My first encounter with Solnit was her acclaimed feminist essay collection Men Explain Things to Me, the titular piece contained therein being (in)famous for having coined the word "mansplaining". I haven't kept up with her work since, although her later collections are all on my virtual to-be-read-pile—so thank you to the publisher for providing me with this eARC of her new collection of fifteen essays, to be published on September 3rd! 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 much more cohesive 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 This? are #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 is more than the sum of its parts. "If 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 others." ————— All my book reviews can be found here · Buy on BookDepository

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katie Bruell

    This book made me hopeful, made me furious, made me think, and made me laugh. Rebecca Solnit is so brilliant.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shari

    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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Niklas Pivic

    I see this as a 150-page long analytical monograph about sexism before, during, and after metoo. During my reading I took notes. I'd made exactly 150 notes when I finished, which says something about how this book engaged, horrified, and enthralled me. Solnit's writing style is quite closely connected to those of Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn; the subject matter may seem scary and dire, but they manage to wring optimism and point out critical things that make you think twice, even a I see this as a 150-page long analytical monograph about sexism before, during, and after metoo. During my reading I took notes. I'd made exactly 150 notes when I finished, which says something about how this book engaged, horrified, and enthralled me. Solnit's writing style is quite closely connected to those of Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn; the subject matter may seem scary and dire, but they manage to wring optimism and point out critical things that make you think twice, even a third time around. Solnit writes tersely and yet conversationally; one can easily inject most of the sentences that she ends paragraphs with into any conversation and come out sounding like Oscar Wilde. One measure of how much power these voices and stories have is how frantically others try to stop them. Comfort is often a code word for the right to be unaware, the right to have no twinges of one’s conscience, no reminders of suffering, the right to be a “we” whose benefits are not limited by the needs and rights of any “them.” Perhaps the actual problem is that white, Christian, suburban, small-town, and rural America includes too many people who want to live in a bubble and think they’re entitled to, and that all of us who are not like them are considered menaces and intruders who need to be cleared out of the way. One of Solnit's key benefits is how she calls out people for what they have done. In this sense, one could call her a historian that won't allow history to be written by the hamfisted majority. Newspapers and magazines have often been the attack base against women and other assailed parties, and she won't let them rest. Just see these two examples on the Atlantic and the New York Times, respectively: One way we know whose story it is has been demonstrated by who gets excused for hatred and attacks, literal or physical. Early in 2018, the Atlantic tried out hiring a writer, Kevin Williamson, who said women who have abortions should be hanged, and then unhired him under public pressure from people who don’t like the idea that a quarter of American women should be executed for exercising jurisdiction over their own bodies. The New York Times has hired a few conservatives akin to Williamson, including climate waffler Bret Stephens. Stephens devoted a column to sympathy on Williamson’s behalf and indignation that anyone might oppose him. This misdistribution of sympathy is epidemic. The New York Times called the man with a domestic-violence history who, in 2015, shot up the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, killing three parents of young children, “a gentle loner.” And then when the serial bomber who had been terrorizing Austin, Texas, was finally caught in March 2018, too many journalists interviewed his family and friends and let their positive descriptions of the man stand, as though they were more valid than what we already knew: he was an extremist and a terrorist who set out to kill and terrorize Black people in a particularly vicious and cowardly way. He was a “quiet, ‘nerdy’ young man who came from ‘a tight-knit, godly family,” the Times let us know in a tweet, while the Washington Post’s headline noted that he was “frustrated with his life,” which is true of millions of young people around the world who don’t get a pity party and also don’t become terrorists. The Daily Beast got it right with a subhead about a recent right-wing terrorist, the one who blew himself up in his home full of bomb-making materials: “Friends and family say Ben Morrow was a Bible-toting lab worker. Investigators say he was a bomb-building white supremacist.” Like other exceptional writers, for example, Chavisa Woods and Susan Faludi, Solnit displays shining talent and craft for providing sobering text: And then there are the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. We’ve heard from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women about assaults, threats, harassment, humiliation, coercion, of campaigns that ended careers, pushed them to the brink of suicide. Many men’s response to this is to express sympathy for men. The film director Terry Gilliam was the voice of the old ways when he said, “I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon, who is a decent human being. He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy!” Matt Damon has not actually been beaten to death. He is one of the most highly paid actors on earth, which is a significantly different experience than being beaten to death. The actor Chris Evans did much better with this shift in perspective, saying, “The hardest thing to reconcile is that just because you have good intentions doesn’t mean it’s your time to have a voice.” But the follow-up story to the #MeToo upheaval has too often been: How do the consequences of men hideously mistreating women affect men’s comfort? Are men okay with what’s happening? There have been too many stories about men feeling less comfortable, too few about how women might be feeling more secure in offices where harassing coworkers may have been removed or are at least a bit less sure about their right to grope and harass. Men are insisting on their comfort as a right. Dr. Larry Nassar, the Michigan State University doctor who molested more than a hundred young gymnasts, objected, on the grounds that it interfered with his comfort, to having to hear his victims give statements during his criminal trial, describing what he did and how it impacted them. These girls and young women had not been silent; they had spoken up over and over, but no one with power—sometimes not even their own parents—would listen and take action, until the Indianapolis Star reported, in 2016, on the assaults by Nassar and many other adult men in gymnastics. It was not the women’s story until then. It seldom is. Or was. Solnit also digs deep into journalism and how it's locked into the American politics of late: Imagine that we were, decades ago, a society that listened to women, and that the careers of Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Bill Cosby, Les Moonves, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Louis C. K., and so many others had been stopped in their tracks. Hundreds of lives would be better, but also the very news and entertainment world we live in might be different, and better. Jill Filipovic noted, in 2017, “Many of the male journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment were on the forefront of covering the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.” She notes that “these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status” and speculates on how it influenced the election. Feminism and capitalism are at odds, if under the one women are people and under the other they are property. Despite half a century of feminist reform and revolution, sex is still often understood through the models capitalism provides. Sex is a transaction; men’s status is enhanced by racking up transactions, as though they were poker chips. Basketball star Wilt Chamberlain boasted that he’d had sex with 20,000 women in his 1991 memoir (prompting some to do the math: that would be about 1.4 women per day for 40 years). Talk about primitive accumulation! The president of the United States is someone who has regularly attempted to enhance his status by association with commodified women, and his denigration of other women for not fitting the Playmate/Miss Universe template is also well known. This is not marginal; it’s central to our culture, and now it’s espoused by the president of our country. All in all, this is a very needed book. Solnit provides the old, the current, and ways to see soberly into the future with all the might and positivity that we can, to topple misogyny and arm ourselves intellectually. One sentence I come back to again and again is James Baldwin’s: “It is the innocence that constitutes the crime.” He’s talking about white people in the early 1960s ignoring the violence and destructiveness of racism, their opting out of seeing it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anosh

    Educational and motivating essays!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leah Rachel von Essen

    As always, Rebecca Solnit’s writing is rich, genius, and gorgeous. Whose Story is This?: Old Conflicts, New Chapters is an incredibly cohesive essay collection about who gets to be part of certain narratives: How do power and privilege impact knowledge and the politics of silence? Who gets to be credible—who is listened to and actually believed? How are creativity and motherhood linked or not linked? Solnit writes about this and much more—non-white non-male anger, how metaphor is transgressive, As always, Rebecca Solnit’s writing is rich, genius, and gorgeous. Whose Story is This?: Old Conflicts, New Chapters is an incredibly cohesive essay collection about who gets to be part of certain narratives: How do power and privilege impact knowledge and the politics of silence? Who gets to be credible—who is listened to and actually believed? How are creativity and motherhood linked or not linked? Solnit writes about this and much more—non-white non-male anger, how metaphor is transgressive, how we should move away from the individualized hero narrative into a more collective framework—and unpacks how our world privileges some voices and stifles others. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This brilliant book comes out September 3 from Haymarket Books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Solnit is a balm for my world-weary soul. I read her Letter to the March 15, 2019 Climate Strikers on September 27, 2019, a climate strike Friday, which is a lot about Greta Thunberg. "Today you are what's happening. Today, your power will be felt. Today, your action matters. Today, in your individual action, you may stand with a few people or with hundreds, but you stand with billions around the world. Today, you are standing up for people not yet born, and those ghostly billions are with you Solnit is a balm for my world-weary soul. I read her Letter to the March 15, 2019 Climate Strikers on September 27, 2019, a climate strike Friday, which is a lot about Greta Thunberg. "Today you are what's happening. Today, your power will be felt. Today, your action matters. Today, in your individual action, you may stand with a few people or with hundreds, but you stand with billions around the world. Today, you are standing up for people not yet born, and those ghostly billions are with you too. Today, you are the force of possibility that runs through the present like a river through the desert."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Most of these essays have appeared in other places. I have read some of them in those places. But it is really great to have them all collected together. Solnit is such a keen observer and thinker. The essays talk to each other and together create a bigger picture than they do on their own. Important reading and analysis on current issues from immigration and the climate emergency to #MeToo, white supremacy, far right politics, and capitalism.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    Solnit writes short essays on feminism and current events. The theme throughout this collection is the power of being heard and who has it. She describes the struggles women have had, in several arenas, to be heard and taken seriously. She focuses attention on sexual harassment/assault, including the case of Brett Kavanaugh and the treatment of Christine Blasey Ford, the MeToo movement, the Anita Hill case and other examples of how the media and authorities have responded to women coming forward Solnit writes short essays on feminism and current events. The theme throughout this collection is the power of being heard and who has it. She describes the struggles women have had, in several arenas, to be heard and taken seriously. She focuses attention on sexual harassment/assault, including the case of Brett Kavanaugh and the treatment of Christine Blasey Ford, the MeToo movement, the Anita Hill case and other examples of how the media and authorities have responded to women coming forward with stories of being harassed/abused. She also writes of women's anger and suggests that we need to move through our anger, without dismissing or negating it, to take our power. I like her writing. She is clear and concise, although some people argue that she does not present new information. That's OK. Sometimes we have to hear the same messages in multiple forms.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Solnit does it again! This essay collection is brilliant and insightful. She tackles political to personal with such grace. In these essays Solnit writes about our current culture, politics, climate change, social and cultural change and more. I found her outlook and optimism on large group movements over individual heroes quite interesting. All in all she is one smart woman and talented writer. Reccomended Reading! Out Today!! • Thank You to the publisher for #gifting me this #ARC opinions are my Solnit does it again! This essay collection is brilliant and insightful. She tackles political to personal with such grace. In these essays Solnit writes about our current culture, politics, climate change, social and cultural change and more. I found her outlook and optimism on large group movements over individual heroes quite interesting. All in all she is one smart woman and talented writer. Reccomended Reading! Out Today!! • Thank You to the publisher for #gifting me this #ARC opinions are my own. • For more of my book content check out instagram.com/bookalong

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beachesnbooks

    Review to come! I received an ARC of Whose Story is This? from the publisher at BookExpo.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    "This country has room for everybody who believes that there's room for everybody. For those who don't-well, that's why there's a battle about whose story it is to tell." "It is an old truism that knowledge is power. The inverse and opposite possibility-that power is often ignorance-is rarely aired. The powerful swathe themselves in obliviousness in order to avoid the pain of others and their own relationship to that pain. It is they from whom much is hidden, and they who are removed from the "This country has room for everybody who believes that there's room for everybody. For those who don't-well, that's why there's a battle about whose story it is to tell." "It is an old truism that knowledge is power. The inverse and opposite possibility-that power is often ignorance-is rarely aired. The powerful swathe themselves in obliviousness in order to avoid the pain of others and their own relationship to that pain. It is they from whom much is hidden, and they who are removed from the arenas of the poor and powerless. The more you are, the less you know." "Every subordinate has a strategy for survival, which relies, in part, on secrecy; every unequal system preserves that secrecy and protects the powerful: better the sergeant not know how the privates tolerate him, the master not know that the staff have lives beyond servitude and, perhaps, scorn for whom they serve with apparent deference." "Perhaps we do not know ourselves unless we know others. And if we do, we know that nobody is nobody." "Unconscious bias is running for president again. Unconscious boas has always been in the race, and unconscious boas's buddy, Institutional Discrimination, has always helped him along, and as a result all of our presidents have been men, and all but one white, and that was not even questionable until lately. This makes who "seems presidential" a tautological ouroboros chomping hard on its own tail. The Republican Party has more than embraced its status as the fraternity of concious bias, binge-drinking resentment until it passes out and becomes unconscious bias. But this also affects the Democratic Party and its voters, where maybe bias should not be so welcome." "Unconscious bias is running for president. Anyone advocating for a candidate who's not white or male has to compete not just against the official rivals but against the burden of inequality and prejudice on a playing field approximately as level as the Grand Tetons. It is far from inpossible to overcome, but it is extra work that needs to be done. Because equal qork for equal pay isn't a thing yet, as long as not being white or male or straight requires all this extra labor and comes with all these extra obstacles." "I believe the hatred of abortion is often because it gives women an autonomy and freedom equivalent to that of men, and that hatred is often expressed by people who show no interest in the health of infants or wellbeing of children. Or women. And at this point, in science, facts, and truth. Their lies pave the way for their laws." "The structure of male authority requires the fiction of unbreakable male legitimacy, which requires the denial of what everyone knows." "The current president is seemingly convinced that through sheer insistence and aggression he can dictate reality, and you cannot regard this as mere delusion, because it often does work for these figures. Ignorance is strength." "Discrediting particular women and constructing narratives in which women are unreliable narrators ad men are in charge of the truth are among the emperor's old rags, and I'd like to make a bonfire of them. Until then, I find it useful to collect type speciemens, tell the truth to the best of my ability about this horrible tangle, and try to map or machete some paths out of it." "Writing is work that can hold up its head with all the other kinds of useful work out there in the world, and it is genuinely work. Good writers write from love, for love, and often, somehow, directly or otherwise, for the liberation of all beings, and the kindness in that is immeasurable." "Anger us iften entangled with entitlement-the assumption, which underlies a lot of the violence in the United States, that one's will should prevail and one's rights outweigh those of others, and none of the good stuff should belong to them." "The fantasy of securing the US-Mexico border and of separating the native-born from the immigrant, the white from the nonwhite, is part of a platform that also includes denying women reproductive rights, which is to say sovereignty over our own bodies." "Positive social change results mostly from connecting more deeply to the people around you than rising above them, from coordinated rather than solo action." "That's another part of our rugged individualism and hero culture, the idea that all problems are personal and they're all soluble by personal responsibility. It's a framework that eliminates the possibility of deeper, broader change or of holding accountable the powerful who create and benefit from the status quo and its myriad forms of harm. The narrative of individual responsibility and change protects stasis, whether it's adapting to inequality or poverty or pollution." "Colonizers often begin by renaming the places they've arrived in, and decolonization always involves undoing this; victors erect statues to themselves and their version of history." "They tell you that things can only change in tiny increments by predictable means. They're wrong. Sometimes you don't have to ask for permission, or for anything, because you hold the power and you yourselves decide which way the door swings. Nothing is possible without action; almost anything is when we rise up together, as you are doing today." "Good work matters. Acting on your ideals matters. Why it matters is not always obvious and what it achieves is not always immediate or linear."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nick Klagge

    I love Solnit and will pretty much read anything she publishes, but when reading her collections I have the strong feeling that going cover-to-cover is the wrong approach. I usually see her LitHub essays when they come out (including some in this collection), and feel that that is a much preferable format to read her in--better to space them out over time and give yourself time to digest, because she packs many ideas into an essay and I think they reward rumination. However, I like her writing I love Solnit and will pretty much read anything she publishes, but when reading her collections I have the strong feeling that going cover-to-cover is the wrong approach. I usually see her LitHub essays when they come out (including some in this collection), and feel that that is a much preferable format to read her in--better to space them out over time and give yourself time to digest, because she packs many ideas into an essay and I think they reward rumination. However, I like her writing so much that I cannot stop myself from reading cover to cover when a new collection such as this one comes out. As a result, I think the essays are ultimately less clearly distinguished in my mind when I think back on them. Probably my favorite essay here is "Nobody Knows," which you can also read at Harper's where it was originally published: https://harpers.org/archive/2018/03/n.... It's a great mix of two main concepts--one describing the way that power permits itself ignorance (an idea I associate mostly with David Graeber), and the other describing the importance of the distinction between "a nobody" knowing an unbecoming fact and "a somebody" knowing the same fact--tied together with Solnit's own personal experience moving back and forth between being perceived as "a nobody" and "a somebody."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dipali

    ** A copy of Whose Story is This? was provided by the publisher and Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review ** Every time I read anything by Solnit, my first thought is "I hope I can write this eloquently and beautifully one day." With this collection, she's cemented her place as my favourite essayist and non-fiction writer. Whose Story is This? should be compulsory reading for anyone wants to grapple with the realities of the world today - pervasive domestic violence buttressed by ** A copy of Whose Story is This? was provided by the publisher and Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review ** Every time I read anything by Solnit, my first thought is "I hope I can write this eloquently and beautifully one day." With this collection, she's cemented her place as my favourite essayist and non-fiction writer. Whose Story is This? should be compulsory reading for anyone wants to grapple with the realities of the world today - pervasive domestic violence buttressed by patriarchal notions, rising tides of right-wing and conservative politics, and the dismantling of 'one' truth.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Siobhán

    I am giving up, Rebecca Solnit just isn't for me - not because of the content but because of how it is presented. The essays have overall topics but are mostly just a weakly argued connection of facts, anecdotes and stories. Yes, many things are right and true, but it's just not enough for me. The conversational tone are disrupted by exaggerated statements that are meant to shock readers and make them act on issues such as feminism, climate change, etc. But it's not working for me, I find it I am giving up, Rebecca Solnit just isn't for me - not because of the content but because of how it is presented. The essays have overall topics but are mostly just a weakly argued connection of facts, anecdotes and stories. Yes, many things are right and true, but it's just not enough for me. The conversational tone are disrupted by exaggerated statements that are meant to shock readers and make them act on issues such as feminism, climate change, etc. But it's not working for me, I find it highly annoying and - despite the blurb - too focussed on America, too white, too crass. 3 Stars at max...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Goni Halevi

    This collection is timely, eloquent, revolutionary, wise, and moving like everything Solnit writes. She is a gift. I particularly enjoyed "The Problem with Sex Is Capitalism", "If I Were a Man", and "Crossing Over", but every essay is a masterpiece, really.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas

    Lovely read. Solnit writes in a rather simple language about profound concepts that draw both from history and social action. The book is a collection of her published essays but a strong connecting thread can be seen: that slowly and steadily newer (and earlier suppressed/oppressed) ideas, people, values, narratives emerge and begin to negotiate, if not openly supplant the dominant narrative. Rich with hyper-local US city history could be both interesting as well as a barrier for global Lovely read. Solnit writes in a rather simple language about profound concepts that draw both from history and social action. The book is a collection of her published essays but a strong connecting thread can be seen: that slowly and steadily newer (and earlier suppressed/oppressed) ideas, people, values, narratives emerge and begin to negotiate, if not openly supplant the dominant narrative. Rich with hyper-local US city history could be both interesting as well as a barrier for global engagement with the book though. A thread of quotes that I compile-tweeted: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/11...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Hughes

    We don’t have enough art to make us see and prize these human murmurations, even when they are all around us, even when they are going the most important t work on Earth.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah’s Library

    I loved this new collection of essays by Rebecca Solnit. Five stars, easily, just like her previous essay collections. This, and her other works, should all be required reading. If you only get to read one of these essays, I would recommend the title essay "Whose Story (and Country) is This? On the Myth of a 'Real' America" which is incredibly insightful. My full review is here: https://hannahslibrary.com/2019/12/06...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    2.5 at best. Read like son (or daughter) of 'Men Explain Things to Me', even repeating the same stories in some cases and, despite the words on leaf cover, still not really intersectional and very American-centric.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mason

    Another piercing analysis of the times in which we live. Solnit’s ability to weave a tapestry of social change with threads of the recent past remains essential for all who dare to process the current age.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Solnit's writing is poetic and pointed. Most of the essays are about women's issues, but there are other issues related. Two were especially interesting: "Unconscious Bias Elected the President" (I no longer have the book in hand--that isn't the exact title.) And the essay about abusive men controlling a woman's vote.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Thank you to the publisher and to Edelweiss+ for this Advanced Reader Copy! Get excited, y’all! Rebecca Solnit is back with yet another collection of essays that speak to our current cultural and political moment with grace, eloquence, long-sighted wisdom, and hope. Climate change, feminism, the patriarchy, the current pool of Democratic candidates in the U.S., violence, and the long arc of social and cultural change (that bends toward justice and a better world) are all covered in this Thank you to the publisher and to Edelweiss+ for this Advanced Reader Copy! Get excited, y’all! Rebecca Solnit is back with yet another collection of essays that speak to our current cultural and political moment with grace, eloquence, long-sighted wisdom, and hope. Climate change, feminism, the patriarchy, the current pool of Democratic candidates in the U.S., violence, and the long arc of social and cultural change (that bends toward justice and a better world) are all covered in this collection, and throughout Solnit speaks with contagious optimism and tenderness about the power of group movements rather than individual “heroes” to affect change and the courage of the unnamed many who work to kindle slow cultural change over decades, leading to watershed moments like the legalization of same-sex marriage. This is exactly the book I wanted and needed to pick up at exactly this moment in the world, where whose stories get told and heard and respected is shifting and we are fighting the backlash. Rebecca Solnit is an uniquely talented essayist who inspires hope and enthusiasm with her patient wisdom and simple, clear writing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Amazing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Another work which should be read by everyone, not only those who agree with Solnit's stance. This work is incredibly relevant, citing events as recently as March of this year. The question of "Whose Story Is This?" is an important one. White culture is diminishing and is predicted by 2044 to be the minority in this country. Evangelicalism is on the downturn - citing the lowest amount of people participating in religion as soon as 2024. Times are a-changin' and that means embracing stories that Another work which should be read by everyone, not only those who agree with Solnit's stance. This work is incredibly relevant, citing events as recently as March of this year. The question of "Whose Story Is This?" is an important one. White culture is diminishing and is predicted by 2044 to be the minority in this country. Evangelicalism is on the downturn - citing the lowest amount of people participating in religion as soon as 2024. Times are a-changin' and that means embracing stories that are not solely the stories of demigods of industry and politics nor are WASPy-male story only. Again, a read (whether it will shake you up a bit or stir the ember already embedded within) that everyone should read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Schulman

    Thanks to edelweiss for the advanced reader’s copy A summary and synthesis of some of the best feminist ideas of the Trump era. Solnit is one of our times’ great intellectuals, and her voice is needed. Few people could lay out all of this misery that we have lived under for the past few years so calmly and articulately, so like a factual horrorshow that no argument against can be created. Definitely required reading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rel

    Another excellent and necessary book of trenchant political essays. Every Rebecca Solnit is for me a must-read as soon as I can get my hands on it. I got the ARC for this at BookExpo.

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