The Legacy: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future Paperback – Jul 8 2011
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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.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Suzuki, one of the planet's 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(2010-01-10)
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(2010-01-10)
Suzuki locates his vision of natureís 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(2010-02-10)
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(2010-08-09)
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(2010-08-09)
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(2010-09-19)
The book reads as if Suzuki is speaking to you, taking you by the hand on a journey. —Green Living(2010-09-30)
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(2010-10-09)
We should publish stories about the future we want, gets kids to write about the future they want. Then I realize I'm still holding on to The Legacy, and that my panic has been replaced by wild excitement, and I think, 'Thank you Dr. Suzuki. Thank you very much.' —Alternatives Magazine(2011-01-05)
The expanded version of a lecture given by Suzuki in 2009, The Legacy is a discussion on population growth, technological developments and globalization, as well as the basic facts about existence: earth, air, fire and water. —Globe & Mail(2011-06-08) See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A lifetime of wisdom is contained within its 113 pages. From the state of the environment and why it matters to economics, relationships, spirituality, and more, its a profound journey through the eyes of a man who has seen much. Yet the book is hopeful as Dr Suzuki remains optimistic about our shared future.
It's the kind of book that stays with you long after you've read it.
I'd definitely recommend "The Legacy" to all readers. In fact, I've already ordered copies for my friends and family.
The case, as I understand it, is that
- Humans have developed into a superspeices that is reordering other natural systems in its own short-term interests.
- This new order is not sustainable, it is consuming non-renewable resources (burning down its capital) and destroying the information and feedback loops it needs to self correct.
- Homogenizing metrics (my term) such as GDP (or the idea that the sole purpose of the corporation is to maximize short-term shareholder value) do not direct cultures and economies in directions that optimize sustainability, resilience or human well being.
- We need to widen our frame of reference and learn from traditional societies that lived within their means for many generations.Read more ›
add his own philosophical thoughts to his writing.
I find it funny that one of the bad reviews is by a
raving climate denier who cannot be classed as a scientist;
Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition
I personally enjoyed the book very much as I have enjoyed
The Nature of Things for decades.
Most recent customer reviews
This book contains NOTHING new. NOTHING.
It's nothing more than the same old self-glorifying patting-oneself-on-the-back that we've heard before. Read more
Normally I can not wait to read something by Suzuki. However it seemed to me there was not original work or thought in this book. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2010 by JOB
I'm a big fan of David Suzuki, having been to four of his lectures.
I ordered this book as soon as I heard about it, thinking that something with such a title from Dr. Read more
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