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

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Penguin, 2010 - Psychology - 353 pages
8 Reviews
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bibleblaster - LibraryThing

Great look at how people act in the midst of disaster, catastrophe, crisis. Lord of the Flies it ain't. People act far better than we are led to expect. And people in power act far worse. If you think ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paulagraph - LibraryThing

I am a big fan of Solnit’s and consider her River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West one of my all time favorites. For the first two thirds of A Paradise Built in Hell ... Read full review

Contents

Falling Together
1
The Mizpah Café
13
Pauline Jacobsons Joy
23
General Funstons Fear
34
William Jamess Moral Equivalents
49
Dorothy Days Other Loves
58
THE GREAT DEBATE
71
From the Blitz and the Bomb to Vietnam
99
The Need to Help
195
Nine Hundred and Eleven Questions
211
COMMON GROUNDS AND KILLERS
229
Murderers
247
Love and Lifeboats
267
Beloved Community
282
The Doorway in the Ruins
305
Gratitude
315

Hobbes in Hollywood or the Few Versus the Many
120
Losing the Mandate of Heaven
151
Standing on Top of Golden Hours
165
Mutual Aid in the Marketplace
183
Notes
321
Index
347
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

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 received the prestigious Lannan Literary Award.

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