To Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis
Click to enlarge
Product ID : 9780999550168

To Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis

Price: $15.95


By Nathaniel Popkin

An urgent and deeply felt call to face our complicity in the Earth's destruction.

In the shadow of an escalating eco-crisis—a looming catastrophe that will dwarf the fallout from COVID-19—how can we explain our society’s failure to act? What will we tell future generations? Are we paralyzed because the problem is so vast in scope, or are there deeper reasons for the widespread passivity? Nathaniel Popkin explores the moral, social, and psychological dimensions of the crisis, outlining a path to a future spring.


"To Reach the Spring is a tour de force, both an incisive reckoning with the full magnitude of the climate emergency along with a visionary understanding of how and why we have come to this place. I read this book with an unruly range of emotions and states of mind including shame, unspeakable grief, existential dread, curiosity, insight, admiration for the author but finally, most of all, hope. By illuminating how our reverence for earth is intrinsically connected to our capacity to hope and to heal leading to an inexorable yearning to act, Nathaniel Popkin has offered us a way forward. This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about our future."
--Gail Straub, award winning author of The Ashokan Way: Landscape's Path Into Consciousness

"Nathaniel Popkin is a swordsmith. He hones words that cut deep through the lies and self-deceptions that license cruelty, revealing the brittle bones of an unjust, death-dealing culture. Everyone should read this book. It is clarifying, bracing, and ultimately transformative; truth-telling is essential for change, and change is essential."
--Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising

"How can we go diligently about our business while the daily disasters of climate change are already visibly recasting natural processes, forcing migration and violence? 'We are the most slippery kind of criminal,' explains Nathaniel Popkin in his searching new book To Reach the Spring. And he's right, Americans (especially middle class and wealthy white Americans) have built up a resistance to the consciousness of their own complicity in the climate crisis. Exerting privilege without feeling privileged, we go about our quotidian consumption, and destruction, consumed by worry but never taking real action. Simultaneously told as a letter to a future descendant, a history of disaster, a personal confession, and a lie-stabbing op-ed, Popkin has crafted a read so melancholy and spiritual you won't lay it aside until you're done."
--Scott Gabriel Knowles, author of The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America

"In a ruminative but urgent treatise, historian Popkin (The Year of the Return) takes a philosophical approach to climate change, drawing analogies to other crises in human history. He begins by discussing the climate crisis as a global rallying point and by pinpointing its major causes, from the outsize political influence of fossil fuel companies to consumer culture, while recalling how his experience working for an environmental group demonstrated to him why activism is often ineffective. Popkin’s analysis picks up steam when he cites Hannah Arendt’s notion of the “banality of evil”—originally formulated in reference to those who actively or passively facilitated Nazism’s crimes—to argue that, with humanity careening toward another historic catastrophe, silence and inaction about climate change is morally unacceptable. He also discusses, more briefly, how the medieval world reacted to the Black Death, and draws from the works of Italo Calvino, Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, and more. Admitting that concrete solutions to the climate crisis are beyond his purview, he concludes by urging others who are concerned about the environment to channel their concerns into action. In a glut of books on the topic, Popkin’s is notable for its thought-provoking longview perspective on how to think about and face climate change." —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Novelist, essayist, editor, documentary writer, and critic, NATHANIEL POPKIN is the author of six books and co-editor of the anthology Who Will Speak for America?


E-mail to a friend