An old favorite. I wrote about it for two university assignments: one for sociology of gender and the other for sociology of intentional communities.
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A friend handed me this book about 20 years ago and said I would love it. I did. I've lost most of the details, but I still remember the bit about the topsoil in the Amazon basin being very thin and wind carrying dirt from the Sahara across the ocean fertilising the rainforests there. Big picture stuff!
I've read this book twice. Essential reading if you want to understand the lives of women in the past. To summarise: the industrial revolution freed women from the full time job of keeping their families clothed. What I take from it: evolving a sustainable garment industry is essential to maintaining the social gains women have made in the past century.
Main lesson I took from this book: there are plenty of warning signs before genocides. Just like pandemics, we don't hear much about the genocides that are prevented. Sam Power was the US Ambassador to the UN during Obama's second term. She met Obama when he was a senator, after she sent him a copy of her first book, an investigation into whether it is possible to prevent genocide. This book is her memoir from childhood up through the end of the Obama administration. It's probably too long for most people, but I am particularly interested in so many of the themes in her story: emigration from Ireland to the US, dealing with a strong ethical sense in a corrupt world, being female and smart in a male dominated world, being proud of what's best about the US and horrified by what is worst about it.
I loved this book back when I read it in the late 80's! I bought it at Atticus Books in Middletown, Connecticut. I think it was part of a display, but maybe I just found it on the shelf. My mom was getting her Master's in Archaeology and Art History, and of course I'd seen the Indiana Jones movies. so adventurous anthropological field work wasn't totally new to me. This story was so thrilling, though. I guess what I loved was that he continues to relentlessly pursue the truth, even when it is so unpopular. It's been thirty years, so I don't know how I would feel about it now.