on July 27, 2004
The Last Refuge is indeed the best nonfiction book I've ever read, and all I read is nonfiction, and a lot of it. I am now into my second reading of this valuable book! David Orr is my favorite environmental author. Known by some as the "sane environmentalist", Orr is not one to do anything other than tell it to us straight. With a wonderful writing style, Orr writes for the laymen. Covering everthing from campaign finance change necessities to control of corporate charters to a proposed environmental amendment to the Constitution, Orr gives a forthright, authentic, and thorough overview of the "Great Work" (Citing Thomas Berry's wonderful book)and the things that must be doone in politics to achieve a world where poverty, hunger, pollution, species extinction and more are dealt with and ended. David Orr cites our need to update our Constiitution (A living document, meaning able to be changed) to allow for the reeling in of corporate mega abuse of our world so that suceeding generations can have a world that enables the pursuit of happiness. This book is full of great ideas and wisdom and again, it is written in a way that anyone can understand it. This book needs to be read by folks all over the country!!! I would give it 10 stars if I could!
on April 15, 2004
In stark contrast to his earlier book, "Earth in Mind", Orr rids himself of any hesitancy to appease, and states the true state of American politics from an environmentalist perspectives. The essays are clear and lucid. It is a good book.
on February 28, 2005
There are really only a couple of dynamite essays in this book. The rest are, sad to say, fairly middle of the road. I had read two of Orr's other books, "Earth in Mind" and "Ecological Literacy," which were absolutely stunning. But this effort is uneven. There are certainly many practical and revolutionary suggestions for turning our earth's fate around, but most of them have been taken up with more conviction and detail by other authors. There is a nagging sense here that Orr is kind of late to the game in some of his ideas, like undermining the idea of corporate personhood, or amending the constitution to include ecological concerns for our descendents.
So while I do recommend this book, especially because Orr is such a graceful writer, I would suggest supplementing it with some harder hitting recent material (maybe "Unequal Protection" by Thom Hartmann, "Beyond Civilization," by Daniel Quinn, or the collection of work done by POCLAD, "Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy," available on [...]
on December 27, 2005
Having read Orr's other books, I found this one to be very cynical. And whille the book is filled with prodound thoughts and suggestions, I fear that most of what he offers will, once again, be ignored. His comments on the connection between terrorism and environmental issues were enlightening.
Despite my own cynicism, however, I believe the book contains a great summary of what ails our political system (i.e. lack of courage and greed), and the book should be required reading for all students of environmental studies and politics. It should be mandatory reading for our congress as well.
The book is relatively short and is written in simple language, making it a very fast read.