Light in Dark Times: The Human Search for Meaning

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University of Toronto Press, Sep 17, 2020 - Anthropology - 160 pages

What will become of us in these trying times? How will we pass the time that we have on earth? In gorgeously rendered graphic form, Light in Dark Times invites readers to consider these questions by exploring the political catastrophes and moral disasters of the past and present, revealing issues that beg to be studied, understood, confronted, and resisted.

A profound work of anthropology and art, this book is for anyone yearning to understand the darkness and hoping to hold onto the light. It is a powerful story of encounters with writers, philosophers, activists, and anthropologists whose words are as meaningful today as they were during the times in which they were written. This book is at once a lament over the darkness of our times, an affirmation of the value of knowledge and introspection, and a consideration of truth, lies, and the dangers of the trivial. In a time when many of us struggle with the feeling that we cannot do enough to change the course of the future, this book is a call to action, asking us to envision and create an alternative world from the one in which we now live.

Light in Dark Times is beautiful to look at and to hold - an exquisite work of art that is lively, informative, enlightening, deeply moving, and inspiring.


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I did not purchase it here, however, I thought it would be helpful, to have at least 1 review on this book. I am a student and was required to read this book for a project. This book is a short read yet its pictures are worth 1000 words and more! it is captivating, it is for anyone in Anthropology, or even a regular, average, joe who wants to obtain (what I believe is) an understanding of cultural Anthropology. Dr. Alisse Waterston describes and tells us her opinion on how to have a better tomorrow by improving today. If you don't buy it for the Anthropology ideology then buy it for the art, and illustration which makes you pause and understand the world is not just one way, but several. 


II On Being Introspective
III On Thinking in Dark Times
IV On Truth Lies and the Danger of the Trivial
V On Envisioning an Alternative World
VI A Lament
VII To the Present
VIII To Posterity
Discussion Guide
Drawing Exercises

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About the author (2020)

Alisse Waterston is a Presidential Scholar and Professor of Anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY).

Charlotte Corden is an illustrator and fine artist who often works in the realms of anthropology.

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