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Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into being and Why No One Saw it Coming [Audio CD]

Paul Hawken , Paul Michael Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

May 10 2007
Blessed Unrest tells the story of a worldwide movement that is largely unseen by politicians or the media. Hawken, an environmentalist and author, has spent more than a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering

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From Publishers Weekly

Hawken weaves together the intricate threads of what he believes is a global humanitarian movement encompassing the numerous environmental, social justice and indigenous preservation nongovernmental organizations throughout the world. Historical vignettes on major influences such as Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson and Mahatma Gandhi are included in this cumulative assessment of the movement. Hawken's words and conclusions are promising and hopeful that this amalgamated assortment of groups can produce the change needed to keep humanity prospering. While thorough in his explanation, his points and analogies sometimes fall flat for listeners not fully versed in some of the topics discussed. Garcia's narration initially works well. His emphasis and rhythm make even the most pedantic moments (such as long lists of companies and people) easy to follow. However, dozens of times throughout the book, his voice audibly shifts, particularly when pronouncing non-English words. The abruptness of these inserts is a bit shocking. Additionally, Blackstone Audio fails to make certain notes within the audiobook available (or at least easily accessible) on its Web site as the package indicates.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The profusion of good causes and the nonprofit groups that advance them can seem laughably overwhelming, but without altruistic grass-roots efforts, the world would be a far less merciful place. Environmentalist Hawken believes that we are in the midst of a world-changing rise of activist groups, all "working toward ecological sustainability and social justice." Rather than an ideological or centralized movement, this coalescence is a spontaneous and organic response to the recognition that environmental problems are social-justice problems. Writing with zest, clarity, and a touch of wonder, Hawken compares this gathering of forces to the human immune system. Just as antibodies rally when the body is under threat, people are joining together to defend life on Earth. Hawken offers a fascinating history of our perception of nature and human rights and assesses the role indigenous cultures are playing in the quest for ecological responsibility and economic fairness. Hawken also presents an unprecedented map to this new "social landscape" that includes a classification system defining astonishingly diverse concerns, ranging from farming to child welfare, ocean preservation, and beyond. Fresh and informative, Hawken's inspired overview charts much that is right in the world. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
Blessed Unrest contains so many powerful new perspectives that it's all but impossible to identify even the most important ones in a review. Telling about this book is complicated by the fact that what is a powerful new perspective depends in part on what you know already. The key point is that being concerned about the environment cannot be logically separated from being concerned about exploited people: The time has come to reflect and act on all of perspectives of where improvement is needed.

Here is the briefest possible overview:

Organizing to improve conditions for others is a relatively new phenomenon, dating back only to the anti-slavery movement. But despite that recent beginning, self-organized efforts are growing exponentially to improve conditions for the poor, indigenous people, and endangered people and species. These activities are likened to the massive, redundant, and intelligent responses involved in the human immune system. The concepts behind these efforts link back to Emerson and Thoreau, Darwin, John Muir, Rachel Carson, Sir James Lovelock, and most recently Jared Diamond. The current exponents of those concepts are people who are scientifically and emotionally concerned by lasting damage that's occurring . . . and are well educated, responsible citizen advocates.

Contrast is drawn by describing the implications of the current momentum behind global free markets, reduced regulation of major companies, and the rapid extinction of common resources we all need. You'll find out about appalling examples of harm being created.

Paul Hawken has an impressive way of selecting his examples and drawing his points out of them. My favorite story involves running a workshop at a chemical company where Mr.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
As a speaker on environmental issues, Hawken always found it difficult to balance honesty about bleak realities with a need to inspire hope. But after each speech, he kept meeting groups of dedicated activists, till he had a small mountain of their business cards. Slowly it dawned on him that these organizations represented something enormous -- maybe greatest movement of hope in world history. And perhaps this mushrooming movement was gonna be the greatest story of his life. Though the well over 1,000,000 activist groups he found were focused on many different issues, there were some things tying them together:

"Just as ecology is the study of relationship between living beings and their environment, human ecology examines the relationship between human systems and their envoronmrnt. Concerns about worker health, living wages, equity, education and basic human rights are inseperable from concerns about water, climate, soil and biodiversity. The cri de coeur of environmentalists in {Rachael} Carson's time was the same as that of the Lancashire weavers, the same as in the time of Emerson, the same as in the time of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathi of Kenya. It can be summed up in a single word: life. Life is the most fundamental human right, and all of the movements within the movement are dedicated to creating the conditions for life, conditions that include livelihood, food, security, peace, a stable environmet, and freedom from external tyranny. Whenever and wherever that right is violated, human beings rise up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed Unrest April 19 2013
By irene
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An Excellent and I would say essential read for any one interested in improving the quality of life on this planet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MOST IMPORTANT BOOK OF OUR TIME Jan. 18 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been giving the book as gifts since I first read it. It should be required reading for everybody.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Blessed Unrest contains so many powerful new perspectives that it's all but impossible to identify even the most important ones in a review. Telling about this book is complicated by the fact that what is a powerful new perspective depends in part on what you know already. The key point is that being concerned about the environment cannot be logically separated from being concerned about exploited people: The time has come to reflect and act on all of perspectives of where improvement is needed.

Here is the briefest possible overview:

Organizing to improve conditions for others is a relatively new phenomenon, dating back only to the anti-slavery movement. But despite that recent beginning, self-organized efforts are growing exponentially to improve conditions for the poor, indigenous people, and endangered people and species. These activities are likened to the massive, redundant, and intelligent responses involved in the human immune system. The concepts behind these efforts link back to Emerson and Thoreau, Darwin, John Muir, Rachel Carson, Sir James Lovelock, and most recently Jared Diamond. The current exponents of those concepts are people who are scientifically and emotionally concerned by lasting damage that's occurring . . . and are well educated, responsible citizen advocates.

Contrast is drawn by describing the implications of the current momentum behind global free markets, reduced regulation of major companies, and the rapid extinction of common resources we all need. You'll find out about appalling examples of harm being created.

Paul Hawken has an impressive way of selecting his examples and drawing his points out of them. My favorite story involves running a workshop at a chemical company where Mr.
Read more ›
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