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In an age of gaslighting and fake news, it’s important to have someone who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, and Rebecca Solnit has a talent for it. Whether you agree with everything she writes or not, there’s a lot to be gained from reading her analysis of the many issues facing our country. Despite her brutal honesty, Solnit still manages to foster a sense of hope in her latest collection of essays.
“The vision of a better future doesn’t have to deny the crimes and sufferings of the present; it matters because of them.” Solnit covers topics from the gentrification of San Francisco to the horror of the 2016 election. I was kicked in the teeth with every sentence, but it also reverberated in my brain that even though we have miles to go, there are others to help us on the journey.
In this powerful and wide-ranging collection of essays, Rebecca Solnit turns her attention to the war at home. This is a war, she says, "with so many casualties that we should call it by its true name, this war with so many dead by police, by violent ex-husbands and partners and lovers, by people pursuing power and profit at the point of a gun or just shooting first and figuring out who they hit later." To get to the root of these American crises, she contends that "to acknowledge this state of war is to admit the need for peace," countering the despair of our age with a dose of solidarity, creativity, and hope.