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Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World (Io Series) Paperback – September 7, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1556439193 ISBN-10: 1556439199 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


“This compelling and inspirational anthology raises a chorus of voices in defense of the earth. Hope Beneath Our Feet addresses the environmental problems plaguing our planet and the myriad forms of action each of us can take.”
—Leonardo DiCaprio, actor and activist

“Wonderfully uplifting and inspiringly diverse perspectives on aligning ourselves with the fullness of our own possibilities as individuals and as a species. The bottom line: flavor and savor every moment, especially the toughest ones, with not-knowing, with good will, imagination, kindness, wisdom, humor, community, and action. My father-in-law, Howard Zinn, said it so well: “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.’”
—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses

Hope Beneath Our Feet is just that. With penetrating clarity it takes us into the depths of our essential nature: our courage, brilliance, and resilience. We are called to take advantage of the greatest opportunity for conscious self-evolution the human species has ever been given. A real masterwork.”
—Barbara Marx Hubbard, author of Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential and founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution

“This is a wonderful, inspirational book composed of works by thoughtful, intelligent, and caring people discussing the fact that we and our fellow species face extinction if we proceed with life as we have in the last two hundred years. As I continue to struggle with the monumental challenges facing the human psyche, the hope and new ideas embedded in these essays have lifted my flagging spirits. Essential reading.”
—Helen Caldicott, author of Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer to Global Warming and If You Love This Planet

Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World offers a powerful set of essays...their diverse answers and thoughts offer important insights key to understanding personal responsibility and replacing despair with hope and action.”
Midwest Book Review

"More than a book to simply read and ponder, Hope Beneath Our Feet offers thought-provoking suggestions for implementing real change."
San Francisco Book Review

"The real value of Hope Beneath Our Feet is that it provides not only places to start, but reasons to keep going once you've started...if you're a Cowbell reader who's never picked up a green-themed book in your life and you're wondering where to start, then Hope can act as a crash-course in the ideas behind sustainable activism."
—Jess Harvell, Editor-in-Chief, Cowbell Magazine

"Keogh has managed to wrangle a lot of intellectual heavy-hitters—environmentalists Bill McKibben and Vandana Shiva, the late historian Howard Zinn, journalist Michael Pollan—and Hope offers an excellent overview of the contemporary environmental movement."
Grid Magazine

“There is no more meaningful action we can take than to struggle on behalf of life on this planet. The profoundly hopeful and inspiring essays in this anthology help us remember our place in the web of life and recover a deep awareness of our own ecological identity, motivating us to continue our efforts.”
—John Seed, founder of the Rainforest Information Centre in New South Wales, Australia and co-author of Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings

“This fierce collection is a pragmatic and poetic call to action for the environmental predicament that we've authored. Its message is compelling and, if acted upon, contains powerful medicine to heal ourselves and the planet.”
—Richard Strozzi-Heckler, author of The Leadership Dojo

“A major antidote for despair is engagement and participation: that is the key message of this collection of leading thinkers and doers hard at work on the dire problem of worldwide ecological decline. What creative responses to the crisis of our time await beyond weary save-the-world technologism, activism, and heroism? What can you do, today, to help? Find out here.”
—Craig Chalquist, co-editor of Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind and core faculty member at John F. Kennedy University

Hope Beneath Our Feet is the tonic needed right now in the world to inspire the many of us who care about preserving our earth but wonder if humankind can actually get it together. The chorus of voices in this book gives us much hope that we can. Read this book and learn why, and then help bring it into being by taking action beneath your feet.”
—David Gershon, Author of Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World and Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds

“We are learning to see and hear a new kind of beauty. That beauty is in the clear and urgent prose of this book.”
—Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi and The Book of Love

“This book presents a rich lode of psychological resilience for those who suffer from a depletion of ecological optimism. The authors of this uplifting compendium embody the hope and wisdom that flows from rootedness.”
—Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute

“Practical inspiration intertwined with authentic hope, written by people living inspiring and authentically hopeful lives and transforming the world. Read it and join the transformation.”
—David W. Orr, author of Down to the Wire and Hope is an Imperative: The Essential David Orr

“Luscious, grounding, and disturbing, this book offers potent medicine for all those working for change, and a swift kick in the ass for those who ain’t. A bracing, polyphonic bundle of necessary voices.”
—David Abram, author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology

“The greatest opportunity of our time is to reverse climate change and restore the sustainability of planet earth. This book offers a timely, relevant, and compelling invitation to action; is an extraordinary anthology that contains diverse and practical ways in which we can individually and collectively change the world in positive and tangible ways for the generations of the future.”
—Angeles Arrien, PhD, author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life

“Such a marvelous collection of essays! This is truth telling that chills and inspires, cajoles and provokes. Let us hope these essays transform us on every level of our being for the sake of future generations.”
—Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University

“My kind of anthology! The volume bravely captures the seriousness as well as optimism of this blessed moment. Authors propose pathways and designs that create better life and livability for humans as well as more than humans. The message in this volume that ‘ecological regeneration is the art of the possible’ needs to be shared and cherished by scholars as well as practitioners.”
—Pramod Parajuli, Ph.D., Graduate Faculty and Director, Prescott College

“This book is a timely contribution on the subject of where we find hope and meaning in a time of radical uncertainty. This is a vital piece for anyone wishing to engage in making a difference to our world. How tempting it is right now to make things definite—whether it be hope for a happy ending or despair that all is lost. Tolerating uncertainty, while engaging with suffering of both human and nonhuman worlds is, perhaps, the greatest spiritual challenge of our time. Read on for how this collection of diverse authors inspire us with their different ways of seeing and living this challenge.”
—Mary-Jayne Rust, eco-psychologist and Jungian analyst

"Whether your New Year’s resolution was to start your own garden this spring or begin biking to work as soon as the snow melts, my mission to you, should you chose to accept it (and you should) is to get your hands on a copy of this book. Share it with friends and family. Whether you read it cover to cover in one sitting or leave it in the bathroom and read one essay at a time, keep this anthology in sight so that it reminds you that you do have a voice, a vote, and a power to make change and inspire others to do the same."

"We can’t think of a more practical and green book to read at the beginning of a fresh decade: Hope Beneath our Feet illuminates small and big steps you can take to be part of the solution – from flicking off your lights to making a major investment in alternative energy to more radical, out-of-the-box ideas."
—Practically Green

"Hope Beneath Our Feet provides much needed personal, spiritual and political inspiration as we grapple with how to live as loving and hopeful human beings in a world in grave danger."
—Francesca Rheannon, Writer's Voice radio

"In reading Martin Keogh’s Hope Beneath Our Feet though, I realized that the importance of “going green.” It celebrated the different ways we can all come together and work hard to set goals (and follow through on them!), instead of just waiting around for the next Earth Day to do something about it."

"This book is an excellent collection of authors who are raising issues, asking questions and posing solutions on both a large and small-scale."

"Amazing, thought-provoking...a recognition of all the good things people are doing around the world, it is a call for action."
—Discover Deep Peace

"Mr. Keogh has compiled a gener...

About the Author

Martin Keogh is the author of As Much Time as It Takes: A Guide for the Bereaved, Their Family and Friends. He teaches interpersonal communication skills using improvisational arts and partner dancing. The founder of The Dancing Ground, which produces conferences and symposia on gender, race, and mythology, he lives in North Easton, MA.

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Product Details

  • Series: Io Series
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556439199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556439193
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martin Keogh has been teaching and performing Contact Improvisation for three decades. After attending the Interlochen Arts Academy and Stanford University, Martin spent time traveling to monasteries in Japan and Korea and was a dharma teacher at the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, California.

Martin founded The Dancing Ground, an organization that produces conferences on gender, race and mythology. One emphasis of Dancing Ground events is the need for actively engaging in the world in order to fully enter life.

For his contribution to the development of Contact Improvisation Martin is a Fulbright Senior Specialist and listed in Who's Who in the World. He has taught in 32 countries on five continents. He is author of, As Much Time as it Takes: Handbook for the Bereaved, their Family and Friends, and, Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World.

Keogh attempts to teach and model that the beauty and reach of our questions, in the end, determine the beauty and reach of our lives.

For more information, visit his Web site at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. Harrold on October 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
As Paul Hawken says in his opening essay in Hope Beneath Our Feet - we are 'living in a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation...'

I couldn't agree more.

Thankfully, Mr. Keogh has compiled a generous supply of wisdom from thought leaders and influencers in the environmental and ecological movement to help us with this 'mind-boggling' and heart-breaking time. This is not a book to supply new figures on our pending ecological demise, but a gathering of souls who are taking stock, breathing deep and rolling up their sleeves. I have chosen to read the essays and excerpts to remind myself (and others) how to curb our desperation and despair by fully appreciating the natural beauty around me, taking action on the injustices I see and engaging in the world.

I also appreciate the very INTEGRITY of the physical book itself - no tree was cut down to create it. I appreciate that the authors are 'walking their talk' and that the book itself is entirely printed on post-consumer waste recycled paper. Perhaps Bill McDonogh's Cradle to Cradle is one of the only other publications that can profess this same level of dedication. The editor is also committed to donating 25% of the proceeds to environmental causes. The book's intent is to buoy not only the hearts of the readers, but also the organizations invested in preserving and protecting our fragile planet.

Through and through this is a vital resource to anyone who cares about the state of our planet and especially to those who have shutdown because the immensity of the situation has become too much. The achingly simple guidance that Barry Lopez offers in his essay, "Eden is a Conversation" is a mantra that echos throughout the stories in Hope Beneath Our Feet. It's one of my favorites:

"Cherish each other. Travel in beauty. Our lives depend on it."

Believe me. You want this book in your life.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Schultz on October 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are times when a series of small doses, or small sips, is better antidote than some Anti-Depressive Blast. In fact, I might offer that small sips over time are always the better remedy to splashy urgencies and emergencies.

So I have enjoyed reading bits and pieces of Hope Beneath Our Feet, in a quiet moment here, or a mad dash moment there. It has fit neatly into my everyday, instead of demanding a deeper dive: not only in format, but in tone and sensibility as well. If the world needs anything now, it is a little hope, and small easy reminders that it is through our small steps that we make great progress, and that we needn't wait for our (or any other) government to squabble through their turf wars to some revertible policy. These are OUR issues, today, and our decision and action to address them... today.

I am grateful to Mr. Keough that he seeded an idea, and to all the writers in this book who watered it. Everyone should take a little of this medicine home, feel accompanied, and feel strengthened.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nancy L. Cotter on September 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was thrilled to hear about this book, and could not wait to receive it. I am still reading and re-reading and have not been disappointed in the least - in fact, quite the opposite - I believe this is a MUST READ FOR EVERYONE ON THIS PLANET. The authors represent a diversity of perspectives based on a wide variety of backgrounds, personal stories, and career paths, yet there is a common thread and profound passion for our planet that comes through every voice. We are all connected in the web of life on this earth, and we are seeing the vital need for all to "AWAKEN" and become linked in a common cause for healing each other and our destructive patterns of behavior. It is time for like-minded and like-hearted people to join hands to help awaken the rest before it's too late. From the depths of despair over the grievous losses we have sustained in our eco-systems and biodiversity, to the highest hopes and inspiration for an activist mindset, this is a book that should be passed along time and again so the movement to SAVE OUR PLANET can no longer be ignored by the global political powers - we need the POLITICAL WILL to make things happen faster, and the message needs to be heard above all the NOISE created by those who are entrenched in dogma and blind greed. This collection of essays is an excellent way to spread the word - please share!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World offers a powerful set of essays by Barbara Kingsolver, Barry Lopez, Alice Walker and other top writers who answer the question: "In a time of environmental crisis, how can we live right now?" Their diverse answers and thoughts offer important insights key to understanding personal responsibility and replacing despair with hope and action.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cc on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book hungry for more Barbara Kingsolver and to say it was a pleasant surprise is an understatement. The essays are from many different people on how to restore our balance in the natural world given environmental imbalance and problems. This book touched me so much and it's now a gift for many as balancing the realities of environmental issues, our conscience and practical life is ubiquitous. The essays do give hope, inspiration and awe by the creative, compassionate, skillful thoughts and steps others are taking with some very simple yet powerful and workable things we can do.

It would make an excellent book club selection.
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