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Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, A

by: Rebecca Solnit

Publisher: Penguin (2009)

$18.00

Staff Pick by comrade: Sea Coats

You probably ought to read this book. Both hearth-breaking and incredibly hopeful, it provides an intimate portrait of the communities that arise in disaster. It provides a compelling case for our latent ability to organize without bosses or structure through in depth case studies of several recent disasters. Give this one to your friends when they say that anarchy will never work.

Thefreshest,deepest,mostoptimisticaccountofhumannatureI’vecomeacrossinyears."BillMcKibbenThemoststartlingthingaboutdisasters,accordingtoawardwinningauthorRebeccaSolnit,isnotmerelythatsomanypeoplerisetotheoccasion,butthattheydosowithjoy.Thatjoyrevealsanordinarilyunmetyearningforcommunity,purposefulness,andmeaningfulworkthatdisasteroftenprovides.AParadiseBuiltinHellisaninvestigationofthemomentsofaltruism,resourcefulness,andgenerositythatariseamiddisaster’sgriefanddisruptionandconsiderstheirimplicationsforeverydaylife.Itpointstoanewvisionofwhatsocietycouldbecomeonethatislessauthoritarianandfearful,morecollaborativeandlocal.