A Paradise Built In Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise In Disaster

Paperback | August 31, 2010

byRebecca Solnit

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 Angel...

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 rece...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.5 × 5.4 × 0.8 inPublished:August 31, 2010Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143118072

ISBN - 13:9780143118077

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"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