A Paradise Built in Hell


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Rebecca Solnit
A Paradise Built in Hell
(Penguin, August 2009)

A deeply researched and political book on how humans deal with disasters from earthquakes to terrorism and why governments can rise or fall by their response. Rebecca Solnit is the winner of the Mark Lynton prize for history, the National Book Critics Circle award and the Lannan Prize for nonfiction and author of the internationally praised Hope in the Dark.

“Rebecca Solnit is the kind of rugged, off-road public intellectual America doesn’t produce often enough.”
-The New York Times

“[A] landmark work that gives an impassioned challenge to the social meaning of disaster…Solnit is an exemplar of that perpetually endangered species, the free-ranging public intellectual, bound to no institution or academic orthodoxy.”
–Tom Vanderbilt, in The New York Times Book Review

“Solnit is an indefatigable student of whatever subject she undertakes, blending historical research with boots-on-the-ground journalism…and cultural criticism.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“In A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit presents a withering critique of modern capitalist society by examining five catastrophes…Her accounts of these five events are so stirring that her book is worth reading for its storytelling alone.”
–Dan Baum, in The Washington Post