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Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World
 
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Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World [Format Kindle]

Paul Hawken

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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.

Audiofile

If you have the least bit of concern for the environment, and if for some reason you listen to only one audiobook this year, let it be BLESSED UNREST. In brief, the book describes how the social justice movement and the environmental movement are, as they should be, intertwining and says that this trend is the best, and maybe the only, hope we have for saving our beautiful, fragile planet. Nonfiction is a challenge for a performer under the best of circumstances, but Paul Garcia captures the passion and purposefulness of Hawkens writing. Garcia narrates factual information evenly and knows when to dramatize the statements that form the heart of this treatise. M.S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  78 commentaires
133 internautes sur 142 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Must-Read Book 21 mai 2007
Par Mark Lee - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
President Bill Clinton called Paul Hawken's last book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Little, Brown. September 1999) one of the five most important books in the world today. Blessed Unrest belongs in the same category.

In his new book, Paul Hawken, noted environmentalist, businessman, writer, tech entrepreneur, and organizational/cultural theorist, makes a compelling case that the disparate movements for ecological restoration and social justice are merging into "the largest movement in the World." The book provides a fascinating overview of how this massive movement has no precedence and is different from previous social movements particularly with respect to ideology. This movement has no name, center or a leader. It is organic, self-organized, and made up of millions of people committed to making the world a better place.

One of my favorite passages is early on in the book when asked if he is pessimistic or optimistic about the world, the author says, "if you look at the science that describes what is happening on earth today and aren't pessimistic, you don't have the current data. If you meet the people in this unnamed movement and aren't optimistic, you haven't got a heart." This to me aptly summarizes what the book is about. I found the book uplifting as it is about optimism and a story of what's going right on our planet.

The book and the companion website project called WiserEarth ([...] a major undertaking and achievement. Thank you Mr. Hawken!

[...]
48 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Blessed Unrest is a Blessing! 23 mai 2007
Par Peter Coyote - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
If you're depressed these days, it is not without good reason. Fear-mongers, the corporate sector, and the political class have conspired to form an extremely dark and inhospitable future. The environment and the various causes of social justice around the globe are in tattered disrepair, to put it mildly. Paul Hawken's wonderful book is a genuine argument for optimism, founded on hard-data and diligent detective work. His global survey of "change-agents", individuals and groups working, often independently and unknown to one another, has discovered a massive 'organism' mimicking the body's very own immune system and fighting off the pathogens of greed, extraction, and opression. Collectively, these groups represent the largest political movement in the history of the planet, and until Blessed Unrest, its larger outlines and properties were virtually unknown. Read this book and buy five copies for your friends. You'll be joining the millions of others worldwide who have aligned themselves with the awesome, restorative forces of nature, and are doing their best to reverse the last two centuries of despoilation and pillage of the human, plant and animal communities all over the world. You can start right where you stand. This book makes you want to stand up and cheer.
51 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Vision for Human Responsibility Against the Risk of Disaster 14 juin 2007
Par Donald Mitchell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
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. Hawken challenged the leaders and engineers to design a long-term spaceship that would allow humans to survive. No one among those doing the project included a single one of the company's products for the spaceship. Why? The products are too toxic for a small environment. A number of the people later left their jobs.

What's the relevance of that story? Mr. Hawken uses the example to illustrate the concept of Earth as our spaceship for survival.

Everyone will learn something about so-called facts that are often cited, whether it be the motives of the Luddites or the actions of protestors at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle. I was particularly impressed with the book's perspective on how the indigenous civilizations in the Americas were in many ways superior to the Western European one.

There are many parallels in the book that would leave you laughing . . . if they weren't so sad. Perhaps the most powerful parallel is between the Spanish Conquistadors and the CEOs of global giant companies who want to increase profits at the expense of the poorest people.

For those who want to learn more, you'll find lots of great resources in the appendix, footnotes, and bibliography.

To me, one of the most chilling images in the book is about releasing vast quantities of stored methane gas (which is much worse for global warming than carbon dioxide is) as the polar ice caps melt.

Read this book, join or start an organization to do something, and take action!
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Critical perspectives, excellent positioning 6 juin 2007
Par Sreeram Ramakrishnan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In a remarkably thorough (about half of this book comprises of an appendix that provides detailed definitions, citations and notes) and well-researched book (reads more like a collection of critical essays), Hawken weaves an excellent tapestry of issues surrounding development, social justice, and environment. Drawing heavily from history, Hawken manages to put key developments in context for providing an excellent argument on how the ongoing 'social movement without a name' has evolved. The gravity of the issues mentioned, the new and unique insights provided on events and personalities, and the detailed narration clearly gives this book a very serious tone (appropriately). Among the well-written chapters (essays), the one on civil disobedience stands out for the sheer unique insights provided on the thought evolution of greats like Gandhi and MLK. Without significant political posturing, Hawken discusses in a calm, methodical manner the issues that relate to social justice and development on multiple facets. An excellent , thought provoking read.
53 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Unconquered Underground 22 septembre 2007
Par doomsdayer520 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This book surely deserves its nearly universal praise, but I'm going to have to throw a wrench into the works by pointing out a few of its structural flaws. As a widely-read conservationist I can credit Paul Hawken as one of the best modern writers and thinkers on our movement, and his classic "Natural Capitalism" is my absolute all-time favorite from the genre. "Blessed Unrest" will surely be a groundbreaker and it could seriously be influential for millions of people for decades to come. But the proof is actually in the appendix (which takes up more than a third of the book), while the main text is faintly disappointing in a few structural ways. In a nutshell, the relatively short main text covers Hawken's research into the quietly rising social movement around the world of literally millions of small organizations that are combining environmentalism, civil rights, and social justice in ways that are revitalizing democracy, conservation, and the human spirit for volunteerism. Most importantly, this movement utilizes ideas and not ideologies, and is inclusive rather than exclusive.

This is a crucially important topic and Hawken is doing the world a great service by bringing this immense but little-respected mass movement into the light. However, only one chapter in the book's main text ("Immunity") and a few other passages really focus specifically on this great movement and how exemplary groups are creating real change. Instead, most of the main text functions as a lengthy introduction that accomplishes little more than a set-up for the appendix. Hawken fills these pages with a fairly standard history of the environmental movement and the latest developments in conservationist philosophy. Of course this material is informative and necessary, but similar information can be found in myriad other books, and here it becomes quite predictable and detracts from the specifics of the unique worldwide movement that this book is supposed to be about. Thus the book becomes a bit of a disappointment for those who have been attracted by its promotional materials, which promise coverage of the movement itself, not its less specific historical underpinnings.

With that being said, the book is saved by the immense appendix, which is built from the crucial and valuable database of small worldwide organizations at the WiserEarth website. Here we can see the movement in full flower, with a useful categorization of volunteer efforts into a mindboggling array of topics that combine conservation of the Earth's gifts and justice for humanity. This book will be vastly influential merely for drawing attention to this outstanding online resource. Overall, Hawken remains at the top of the heap for influential and inspirational conservationist writers, but just beware of this book's structural limitations. [~doomsdayer520~]
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