Four New Books for the Biosphere

Venture into the woods this autumn with books from Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore, Nate Blakeslee, Ashley Dawson and Gleb Raygorodetsky.

In These Times Staff

(Apocalyptic, Trees, Forest / Photovision / pixabay.com / Creative Commons)

A His­to­ry of the World in Sev­en Cheap Things by Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore (Octo­ber 2017)

Like dead­ly sins and dwarves, the keys to under­stand­ing cap­i­tal­ism come in sev­ens. Eco-Marx­ists Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore use the cheap­en­ing of nature, mon­ey, work, care, food, ener­gy and lives to trace how cap­i­tal­ism has trans­formed human soci­ety and our eco­log­i­cal role. The end result: the mod­ern era, exem­pli­fied not in the auto­mo­bile or the smart­phone but the Chick­en McNugget.”

Amer­i­can Wolf by Nate Blakeslee (Octo­ber 2017)

O‑Six was an Amer­i­can wolf, raised on promis­es. In Nate Blakeslee’s hands, this Yel­low­stone canine — named for the year she was born — is a cen­tral fig­ure in an inti­mate intra-wolf dra­ma for pow­er and ter­ri­to­ry. She’s also a flash­point in an even more treach­er­ous turf war sweep­ing the West: the bat­tles among ranch­ers, hunters, envi­ron­men­tal­ists and wildlife over whom, if any­one, the land is for.”

Extreme Cities by Ash­ley Daw­son (Octo­ber 2017)

For Ash­ley Daw­son, envi­ron­ment” evokes less the Ama­zon than jun­gles of the con­crete kind. The climb­ing human pop­u­la­tion in cities, plus their vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to dis­as­ter, key role in glob­al cap­i­tal­ism and vibrant move­ments for jus­tice, make them the pri­ma­ry site of cli­mate strug­gle, Daw­son argues. In the wake of this season’s hur­ri­canes, the bat­tle for sane cli­mate pol­i­cy has nev­er felt more pressing.

The Arch­i­pel­ago of Hope by Gleb Ray­gorodet­sky (Novem­ber 2017)

Tak­ing the read­er on a more remote tour, Gleb Ray­gorodet­sky explores how close depen­dence on the non­hu­man world has giv­en some Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties keen insight into cli­mate impacts. He also draws on his expe­ri­ences liv­ing among Indige­nous peo­ples, from Ecuador to Fin­land to Myan­mar, to show what cen­turies of tra­di­tion may have to teach the mod­ern world.

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