From Publishers Weekly
In this memoir–cum–call to arms, Handler examines her literal and metaphorical journey from her South African childhood through her family's politically motivated move to America to her adult involvement in the global justice movement. From assisting Amazon Basin communities threatened by oil companies, to protesting at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Handler has put her values into action with tenacious creativity. She ably conveys the histories of places many people couldn't find on a map in a lively, moving and funny voice. Unfortunately, Handler is often self-involved—even for a memoirist—and too frequently leans on stereotype (the noble savage, the emotionally barren upper-class marriage), though she manages to regard herself with enough irony to mitigate her worst indulgences. The book's greatest weakness lies in Handler's decision to "condense or conflate" some of the "real people and events" she draws on, and occasionally to alter "the setting or timing of a revelation or personal experience." In the wake of the James Frey scandal, some readers may find it difficult to believe that many of the beautifully rendered vignettes here are not fiction. (Feb.)
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Born to liberal-minded Jewish parents in apartheid-era South Africa, Handler was raised to question the unfairness of the world. In this brightly detailed blend of personal memoir and political reportage, Handler recounts her life of activism, which starts as a young girl when she stands up to her classmates in Cape Town. After attending college in Berkeley and spending a year in Israel, she realizes her calling in life, is a path of compassion. Handler devotes herself to political organizing, traveling to India, Nepal, Peru, Equador, and speaking all over the United States. For readers interested in liberal political activism in this new century, including war protests in 2003, the FTAA protests in Miami, and protests during the Republican National Convention in New York, this is a must-read. Most entertaining are the lively descriptions of such groups as the "Knitters for Peace" and the "Dot Commies" and descriptions of behind-the-scenes encounters. A deeply intelligent, absorbing call to action. Emily CookCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved