What We Leave Behind

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Seven Stories Press, 2009 - House & Home - 453 pages
1 Review

“This compelling book has a refreshing style, at once very personal and very passionate.”—Library Journal

“Jensen and McBay's message that we need to grow up and ‘put away the childish notion that we have the right to take whatever we want from nonhumans’ is eminently reasonable.”—Publishers Weekly

“Derrick Jensen is a rare and original voice of sanity in a chaotic world. He has wisdom and wit, grace and style, and is a wonderful guide to a good life beautifully lived.”—Howard Zinn

“This is a fierce book…Its basic premise—that we’re in worse trouble than we understand, and that a little change around the edges won’t help—is precisely the message that needs to get out.”—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future and The End of Nature

“What We Leave Behind is the kind of direct, unflinching, personal writing that you’d expect from a memoir about a harrowing childhood, not one about the state of the planet, or what happens to waste...This is a book about choosing sides—our destructive, compartmentalized culture of the future of planet Earth.”—E Magazine

“The text moves frequently from personal narrative to hard, scientific fact to disturbing news accounts about the ongoing, wanton destruction of our planet by corporate interests...What We Leave Behind is not light reading. But a reader willing to stay on this circuitous journey to the end will be rewarded.”—Foreword Magazine

What We Leave Behind is a piercing, impassioned guide to living a truly responsible life on earth. Human waste, once considered a gift to the soil, has become toxic material that has broken the essential cycle of decay and regeneration. Here, award-winning writer Derrick Jensen and activist Aric McBay weave historical analysis and devastatingly beautiful prose to remind us that life—human and nonhuman—will not go on unless we do everything we can to facilitate the most basic process on earth, the root of sustainability: one being’s waste must always become another being’s food.

Activist, philosopher, teacher, and leading voice of uncompromising dissent, Derrick Jensen holds degrees in creative writing and mineral engineering physics. His books include Endgame, volumes 1 and 2; As the World Burns, with Stephanie McMillan; A Language Older Than Words; and The Culture of Make Believe.

Aric McBay is a writer, activist, and small-scale organic farmer who works to share information about community sufficiency and off-the-grid skills. He is the author of Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life after Gridcrash and creator of “In the Wake: A Collective Manual-in-progress for Outliving Civilization” (www.inthewake.org).

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

This is one of those paradigm-shifting books. I picked it up thinking I was doing everything I could, living "green" and being aware. But no, I'm a total corporate tool in ways I never dreamed ... Read full review

What We Leave Behind

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Until recently, our waste decomposed naturally, passing through the inevitable cycle of decay, metamorphosis, and regeneration. But the global industrial system, argue environmental activists Jensen ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Activist, philosopher, teacher, and leading voice of uncompromising dissent, DERRICK JENSEN holds degrees in creative writing and mineral engineering physics. In 2008, he was named one of the Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World," and in 2006 he was named Press Action's Person of the Year for his work on the book Endgame. He lives in California. 

Writer, activist, and small-scale organic farmer ARIC MCBAY works to share information about community sufficiency and off-the-grid skills. He is the author of Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life after Gridcrash and creator of "In the Wake: A Collective Manual-in-Progress for Outliving Civilization" (www.inthewake.org).

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