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The Legacy Hardcover – Sep 11 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Greystone Books/David Suzuki Foundation (Aug. 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553655702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553655701
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Quill & Quire

Geneticist, broadcaster, author, and social critic David Suzuki is one of the loudest voices in the global green community, and is surely the elder statesman of Canadian environmentalism. Suzuki adds to an already impressive body of work with The Legacy, framed as a photo-illustrated “last lecture,” because the septuagenarian host of CBC’s The Nature of Things is facing reality: “Now that my parents are gone and I too have become an elder, my mind turns to my own mortality. I hope I can approach my death with the dignity and acceptance my father did.”

A tie-in with Suzuki’s (carbon-weighty) world tour, The Legacy recapitulates and condenses decades of advocacy work. Writers repackage their oeuvres all the time, but how they do so is just as important as why. In this regard, The Legacy falters in significant ways. For one thing, although it is about the length of a novella, the book somehow manages to be internally repetitious.

No one could argue with Suzuki’s overall message, or indeed, with the many cogent points he makes. However, even well founded passion for the natural world – and distress at the uncontestable destruction our species is wreaking on it – could do with less anger and more warmth (and even a touch of levity). Citizens are bombarded with “do-this” and “don’t-do-that” imperatives every day, and resent being talked down to. In The Legacy, Suzuki pounds the podium less than in his 2009 essay collection, The Big Picture, but seems intent on taking himself every bit as seriously as a graduate student canvassing for Greenpeace.

Despite this stridency, he does close the book with a gentle, eloquent observation: if there is hope that humanity can change in time, it will be due to our love of the natural world, not just scientific understanding. Anyone would do well to leave behind a message like that.


Occasionally we encounter someone who appeals to the better angels of our nature and reminds us of values we once held dear. For me that person was David Suzuki. It was a privilege and a joy collaborating with him on this project for the past two years and I take great pride in the result. —Sturla Gunnarsson


The 'legacy' in this lecture is one of truthful words about the hard place we're in, but it's also one of hopeful words: our chance if we will take it for 'opportunity, beauty, wonder and companionship with the rest of creation.' My hope is that we ourselves will emulate David Suzuki and leave legacies in our turn. —Margaret Atwood


Readers . . . will find Suzuki's tangential musings on subjects like argon molecules, shrinking swordfish, or the role of salmon in fertilizing forests some of the book's best reading . . . at the core of his writing lurks a scientist's wonder at the world, and a compelling sincerity that makes you believe—or at least, want to believe—[there is] still some hope for this muddled planet. —Winnipeg Free Press


The Legacy is part autobiography, part history, part basic science—and above all, a plea for the planet. —Montreal Gazette


With environmental crises facing the planet—climate change, ocean acidification and loss of biodiversity, to name a few—Suzuki says this is the time to act. The Legacy is part autobiography, part history, part basic science—and above all, a plea for the planet. Buy it. —National Post


The book reads as if Suzuki is speaking to you, taking you by the hand on a journey. —Green Living


Suzuki, one of the planetís best-known environmentalists, explains how earth got where it is today and presents his vision for a better future—The Legacy encapsulates Suzuki's thoughts, philosophies and hopes for a sustainable future. —Arabella Magazine


David Suzuki is one of the loudest voices in the global green community, and is surely the elder statesman of Canadian environmentalism. [He] adds to an already impressive body of work with The Legacy. —Quill & Quire


Suzuki locates his vision of nature's order even more deeply, as an 'elder,' in the healing resources of aboriginal wisdom . . . The imaginative reach of Suzuki's earth-vision grounded in scientific fact is astounding. Single sentences can change our perceptions of space and time ranging from the pre-Cambrian era to future millennia . . . to this reader, Suzuki's grasp of the magic, profound complexity of nature's underlying matrix is the strength of his new book. —Telegraph-Journal


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