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Off The Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economy Paperback – September 1, 2002
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Library Journal
A psychologist, poet, and social activist, Glendinning uses many images to express her thoughts about the modern world. Here her views on imperialism and ecology are interspersed with descriptions of her horseback exploration of the northern New Mexico desert accompanied by an Indo-Hispanic cowboy named Snowflake Martinez. Glendinning leaps from discussions of world history to her own experiences of child abuse to the struggles of the Hispanic farmers of northern New Mexico, linking all these as facets of imperialism. She makes some interesting connections between these ideas, but her stream-of-consciousness style may be hard for some readers to follow. No translation is provided for the Spanish-language dialog, which will prevent some readers from fully understanding Glendinning's conversations with Snowflake and others. For larger collections.AGwen Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Today's global economy is yesterday's empire. Imperialism in whatever guise is the same through time, penetrating every area of our lives, affecting whole cultures as well as the deep core of individuals. And maps have been the tools of empire, defining the territory to be exploited.
Off The Map is a unique exploration of globalization. Part history, part autobiography, and part fiction, it weaves together the history of the last 300 years of Western imperialism, the author's own story of sexual abuse in the 1950s, and a present-day horseback ride through the recently colonized Chicano world of New Mexico. The author takes us with her as she travels 'off the map' through the ancestral lands of her friend and traveling companion Snowflake Martinez, describing the Chicano people's struggle to survive the onslaught of a globalized world, and the ways in which that struggle has been replicated countless times. In a different voice, she reveals scenes from her childhood, her grandparents adorning themselves with artifacts symbolic of the British Empire, and her medical doctor father raping both her and her brother for twelve years. The political is deeply personal. And hope, according to Glendinning, resides in our creating new maps that chart worlds fashioned by love and respect for community, place and nature.
"A dazzling contribution to the critical study of globalization (qua imperialism)."-Devon Peña, author of Chicano Culture, Ecology, Politics: Subversive Kin
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Q: Who makes a frog with no head? A: Scientist(s)! They also produce an ear of corn made of insects, a soybean made of peanuts.
This book's author as a "fighter for environmental justice' is narrowly focused on a swath of visible political, social, financial and economic powers that corrupt all societies and borders. Environmental justice is a vague goal with no expiration and likely no known origin.
Today there are at lease 7.5 billion members of humanity competing for food, water, shelter and jobs. The upward trajectory is relentless and by 2050 we could see more humans on our earthly doorstep. The growth will be mostly in megacities where providing sewers, clean water, food and sanitation represent major challenges, especially in global metropolises such as Mexico City, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, Rio, the African sub-continent, Tokyo, Chicago, Baltimore,.. Mankind has always embraced economic growth as a crucible against social disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects as many as 10 billion members of humanity will populate planet earth by 2050. Perhaps parking spaces will become the most prized of possessions.
It's nice to see someone in my field working for rather than against the social forces that oppose the conformity and imperialism that show up nowadays as well-marketed, hyperconvenient, quick-fix "psychotherapy" (or is that psycho therapy?). Listening to the soul of the world, Chellis Glendinning hears in it an anguish echoing her own--and acts bravely and actively on behalf of both.
There's an annoying idea at my school (Pacifica) that all such activism = acting out, a kind of puerile and heroic impulsiveness--whereas working the imaginal, perhaps from within a well-lighted office on convenient days, should be enough. The example of the author's way of being indicates otherwise. We certainly need to monitor our activism, lest it become just another kind of colonizing arrogance so characteristic of our empire-driven civilization; at the same time, to say and do nothing except in private is not enlightened or soulful, it is cowardly.
Good work, Dr. Glendinning!
I teach college sociology and have read excerpts of this book to my students. Their response has been amazing, with many wiping tears from their eyes. I didn't want to put this book down, and friends have had the same experience. If you have read Glendinnings other works, you will be amazed at this book. She has truly stepped beyond herself.
This book would make good reading material for a coffee house. Read it where you don't care if you're interrupted. Read it where you'll get more insight out of the conversations it sparks with strangers and acquaintances.
I don't recommend reading this book unless you have at least a couple of semesters of Spanish on your high school or college transcript. The author writes a lot of the fictional (?) dialogue in a mixture of Spanish and English, and she doesn't always provide enough context clues to figure out the Spanish if you don't already have some education in the language. (Fortunately, I did.) The Spanish-English mixture really wasn't necessary for the book; it was more distracting than helpful, and at times it seemed to stereotype the speakers a little bit.