A Green Book List
November 19, 2008 in Editorials
I am a librarian by occupation. I appreciate books as a written record of our culture, society, civilization and history. I had been working recently in the “J” section of my library’s collection where the political science books are located and while there were many books about the Democratic Party and the GOP, the Libertarians and Labour, Socialists and Communists, there were very few books, academic or otherwise, about the Green Party. This could be partially due to the fact that “Green Politics” is often found outside of political science – either in peace activism, environmental movements, sustainability and urban planning.
Nonetheless, I know I am not alone in my desire to put together a Green Book List. What kind of books would it include? Histories of Green Parties? Books by Greens? Biographies of Greens? Green Politics? Green Fiction? I don’t know yet.
The questions I pose to you are:
- What book(s) have influenced your thinking as a Green?
- What book(s) moved you to take action as a Green?
- What book(s) would you recommend to non-Greens to introduce them to Green Party concepts?
- What book(s) could not possibly be left off of a Green Book List?
Please use the comments to offer your wisdom in collection development toward this Green Library Project!
But of course, I may as well start it off:
The Long Emergency (2005) by Jim Kunstler – I love a good “we’re all going to die!” book, and while Kunstler’s book doesn’t go that far, it comes close. But more than that it very efficiently outlines many of the crises that our building up around us that our nation, and the world, are failing to deal with. It then offers a picture of what life in America will likely be like “post-peak oil”, region by region. The book is alarming, and a wake up call.
The Great Turning : From Empire to Earth Community (2006) by David Korten – I confess I am just starting to finally read this, but I love it so far. Korten is affiliated with the Earth Charter movement, which is built on the same pillars as the Green Party. Korten argues that we are at a critical moment in our history, one that could be a “Great Turning” from a period of Empire (greed, death & violence, denial of the feminine) to a period of Earth Community (material sufficiency for all, life and love, balance between feminine and masculine), or it could be a Great Unraveling, that can end catastrophically for all of us.
Ecotopia (1975) by Ernest Callenbach – this “pre-Green Party” work of fiction really got my attention, and showed me what a state might look like if Green Party principles were enacted across the board. I quote from Wikipedia: “The importance of this book is not so much to be found in its literary form, as in the lively imagination of an alternative and ecologically sound lifestyle on a greater scale, presented more or less realistically. It expressed on paper the dream of an alternative future held by many in the movements of the 1970s and later.” This book still moves me, as well as its pre-quel, Ecotopia Emerging.
Against All Odds : the Green Transformation of American Politics (1999) by John Rensenbrink – Should be owned by every library and read by every Green. A professor recommended it to me as a great short history of Green Politics in America.
What would you recommend?