Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blessed Unrest: A Review

Howdy! The kids and I got home from our trip to Chicago earlier this week and have been busy unpacking and adjusting to life back in Portland. I have been completely neglecting my blog, but hope to share some picture from our Chicago trip with you soon.
And, in the meantime, here is a brief book review that I wrote a few weeks ago and haven't yet had a chance to post.
Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!

Blessed Unrest, by Paul Hawken, is an account of the environmental movement; it's beginnings, it's challenges, it's victories, and the distance it still needs to cover. Although this is a very important book, especially for someone like me who teaches environmental science, I found it hard to get through. True, I am not a fan of reading about history, and I guess the history of the environmental movement falls into that same category.
Hawken's writing is actually quite beautiful, full of metaphors and poetic paragraphs. And, parts of the book I found just absolutely fascinating. I think for me, it wasn't organized in a way that I could easily wrap my head around... the book was written in a mostly linear fashion, but then past strife was related to present day issues and then it would shift back to the past. The book sort of meanders through the history of the environmental movement, covering a lot of ground (because it has to!), but for me, that made it hard to become involved in the book and to be drawn in to reading more than a few pages at a time. So, it took me several weeks to get through this book, despite it being relatively short.
Blessed Unrest is full of important and pertinent information, incredible stories, and amazing facts. It is important to have a history of this movement, a movement that is still happening and gaining speed. It is important to see where we came from and see the direction in which we are headed, and I appreciate Hawken's work and the time and energy it took to compile all of this information. I believe this is a significant work, and I wish that I had enjoyed it more as I was reading it. I think this book is one that I may revisit, in another head-space, and see if a second run provides a more coherent and connected work. Pin It Now!


  1. I have been away and just read your review. Sounds like an interesting book. I am wondering if you ever read The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey. My oldest son really got into the writings of Edward Abbey when he was in college. I would be interested in your take on Abbey's brand of "environmental activism." Thanks for sharing this.

    1. I also read some Edward Abbey when I was an undergrad. I loved the Monkey Wrench Gang. I think his writing shows amazing passion for the environment. And, in my younger days I remember being inspired for change when I read his work. But now, looking back, I understand how dangerous many of his ideas are. It's funny that you mentioned this book, because even though I haven;t read it for about 15 years, I still have a copy, and just a few days ago I was thinking that I should re-read it. Now I want to even more!