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Call Them by Their True Names
American Crises (and Essays)
Rebecca Solnit unearths the roots of our contemporary crises, countering the despair of our age with a dose of solidarity, creativity, and hope.
National Book Award Longlist
Kirkus Prize Finalist

“Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.” —The New Republic

“Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.” —Elle

Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books, including the international bestseller Men Explain Things to Me. Called “the voice of the resistance” by the New York Times, she has emerged as an essential guide to our times, through her incisive commentary on feminism, violence, ecology, hope, and everything in between.

In this powerful and wide-ranging collection, Solnit turns her attention to battles over meaning, place, language, and belonging at the heart of the defining crises of our time. She explores the way emotions shape political life, electoral politics, police shootings and gentrification, the life of an extraordinary man on death row, the pipeline protest at Standing Rock, and the existential threat posed by climate change.

The work of changing the world sometimes requires changing the story, the names, and inventing or popularizing new names and terms and phrases. Calling things by their true names can also cut through the lies that excuse, disguise, avoid, or encourage inaction, indifference, obliviousness in the face of injustice and violence.

Reviews
  • “A searing and super smart call-to-arms that takes on a range of social and political problems in America—from racism and misogyny to climate change and Donald Trump—Call Them by Their True Names features Solnit’s signature wit, humor, honesty, and incisive commentary, and beneath it all, a focus on progress and hope.”
    Poets & Writers
     
    “Solnit [is] a powerful cultural critic: as always, she opts for measured assessment and pragmatism over hype and hysteria.”
    Publishers Weekly
     
    “Solnit is careful with her words (she always is) but never so much that she mutes the infuriated spirit that drives these essays.”
    —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
     
    “Rebecca Solnit is a treasure.”
    Marketplace
     
    “Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.”
    ELLE
     
    “Rebecca Solnit is the voice of the resistance.”
    New York Times Magazine
     
    "No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium."
    —Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org
     
    “Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.”
    The New Republic

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Other books by Rebecca Solnit

  • Cinderella Liberator

    Rebecca Solnit radicalizes a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world.

  • The Mother of All Questions

    The Mother of All Questions is Solnit’s sequel to Men Explain Things to Me and includes her new essays on feminism.
  • Los Hombres Me Explican Cosas

    A landmark essay that went viral, inspired the word “mansplaining,” and prompted fierce arguments.
  • Hope in the Dark

    Bestselling author Rebecca Solnit reminds us that activism has changed the world in remarkable ways.
  • Men Explain Things To Me

    A landmark essay that went viral, inspired the word “mansplaining,” and prompted fierce arguments.

Other books of interest

  • Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

    Activist, teacher, author and icon of the Black Power movement Angela Davis talks Ferguson, Palestine, and prison abolition.
  • The End of Imagination

    Brings together five of Arundhati Roy's acclaimed books of essays into one comprehensive volume for the first time.
  • How We Get Free

    "If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free." —Combahee River Collective Statement
  • Why Bad Governments Happen to Good People

    A sharp-witted indictment of our broken political system and a vision for a socialist alternative that is truly by and for the people.
  • No Is Not Enough

    “This year's most immediately useful political book.” —Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017