From the author of Men Explain Things to Me – “A landmark book that gives impassioned challenge to the social meaning of disasters” (The New York Times Book Review)
"The freshest, deepest, most optimistic account of human nature I've come across in years." -Bill McKibben
Chosen as a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune
The most startling thing about disasters, according to award-winning author Rebecca Solnit, is not merely that so many people rise to the occasion, but that they do so with joy. That joy reveals an ordinarily unmet yearning for community, purposefulness, and meaningful work that disaster often provides. A Paradise Built in Hell is an investigation of the moments of altruism, resourcefulness, and generosity that arise amid disaster's grief and disruption and considers their implications for everyday life. It points to a new vision of what society could become-one that is less authoritarian and fearful, more collaborative and local.
About the Author
Rebecca Solnit is the author of numerous books, including Hope in the Dark, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, and As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. In 2003, she received the prestigious Lannan Literary Award.
"Thought-provoking . . . captivating and compelling . . . there's a hopeful, optimistic, even contagious quality to this superb book." --Los Angeles Times
"In her far-reaching and large-spirited new book, Solnit argues that disasters are opportunities as well as oppressions, each one a summons to rediscover the powerful engagement and joy of genuine altruism, civic life, grassroots community, and meaningful work." --San Francisco Chronicle
"Stirring . . . fascinating . . . presents a withering critique of modern capitalist society by examining five catastrophes . . . Her account of these events are so stirring that her book is worth reading for its storytelling alone. . . . [An] exciting and important contribution to our understanding of ourselves." --The Washington Post