Tag Archive for: history

Losing Earth Book Cover

 

“Nearly everything we understand about global warming was understood in 1979,” writes novelist Nathaniel Rich. His masterful analysis of how the oil industry has known for decades about the existential danger created by its core product, and actively buried its findings, makes for sombre but necessary reading. Based on an article the novelist wrote for the New York Times, it lays bare the hypocrisy of industry-funded scientists and the opportunism of a political system which puts profit before human life.  



This remarkable book is about everything from echidnas to evolution, cosmology to cooking, sex and science and spirits to Schrodinger’s cat. Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from an Indigenous perspective. He asks how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently? Sand Talk provides a template for living. It’s about how lines and symbols and shapes can help us make sense of the world. It’s about how we learn and how we remember. It’s about talking to everybody and listening carefully. It’s about finding different ways to look at things. Most of all it’s about Indigenous thinking, and how it can save the world.

‘As consequences of civilisation squeeze modernity in a death grip, connecting with the ancestral world, breaking out of our box of time, is perhaps the most radical act any of us can do.

In his startling manual Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, Tyson Yunkaporta describes five ways of seeing from an Aboriginal perspective – kinship mind, storytelling mind, dreaming mind, ancestor mind and pattern mind. All five help perceive the land and ourselves within it, kin with creatures, rivers, rocks and sky. This knowledge is embedded in ritual, storytelling and practice that hold communities and cultures together, so human beings can be ‘custodial’ for places and living beings. We have a thousand-year clean up ahead of us, Yunkaporta tells us, and generously hands us the imaginative tools to begin the work.’ – Charlotte Du Cann, guest contributor to May 2022’s Rebel Library Recommends

 

Purchase Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World from Hive online bookshop

What begins as the record of W.G. Sebald’s own journey on foot through coastal East Anglia, from Lowestoft to Bungay, becomes the conductor of evocations of people and cultures past and present.

From Chateaubriand, Thomas Browne, Swinburne and Conrad, to fishing fleets, skulls and silkworms, the result is an intricately patterned and haunting book on the transience of all things human.

‘The narrator walks a metaphysical path along coastal edge of Suffolk, past its abandoned great houses and fishing fleets, placing his melancholic gaze on the underbelly of Empire. A journey that weaves in the lives of poets and philosophers, Sir Thomas Browne’s skull, the Empress Tzu, the silkworm industry of Norwich, the bombing of German cities in WWII, the invisible cruelty of hierarchies that keeps us caught in the repeating wheel of History.’ – Charlotte Du Cann, guest contributor to May 2022’s Rebel Library Recommends

 

Purchase The Rings of Saturn from Hive online bookshop

‘Something between a history book and a fable about consumerism, The Nutmeg’s Curse tells the story of how rapacious greed for spices led the Dutch East India Company to seize control of Indonesia’s Banda Islands – then the world’s only source of nutmeg – in the 17th century. Ghosh prises apart this overlooked history to draw a series of troubling links between the spice trade, imperialism, capitalism, climate change and war. He is a brilliant storyteller, and this striking and disturbing book helps us understand how the modern world came to be.’ Nick Hunt, guest contributor to May 2022’s Rebel Library Recommends