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.
"The freshest, deepest, most optimistic account of human nature I've come across in years." (Bill McKibben)
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Similar to Shock Doctrine but from another angle
The descriptions of the aftermath of Katrina were shocking to a non-American and something I was surprised to hear. The basic failures of the government during this time was something that I was aware of but the details were grisly and something I won't forget, and nor should I.
The entirety of the book was filled with moving encounters of underrepresented examples of humans at their best in the worst possible scenarios. I certainly recommend it to those who have lost their faith in the people of the modern world.
- Gregory Monk