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Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

jcSince 2007, former New Yorker writer McKibben (The End of Nature), has been at the forefront of the grassroots movement to fight global warming. With his organization, 350.org, McKibben has encouraged people all over the world to commit acts of civil disobedience in order to publicize the way climate change had affected their way of life. He has also worked to challenge the Keystone XL Pipeline project, endorsed by the Obama administration, but excoriated by environmentalists. Here, McKibben's accounts of activism are punctuated with visits to a friend's farm, and discussions of small-scale farming techniques and bee husbandry. Although he was harnessing the power of politicians, scientists, billionaires, and celebrities and speaking through the loudest megaphone of his career, McKibben kept returning to the beehives flourishing in the Vermont woods. What lessons in organization, adaptation, and endurance could be gleaned from the way bees work together and interact with their environment? Tracking the emotional and intellectual journey that took McKibben from Vermont to picket lines in Washington, D.C. to town halls, universities, and arenas, the book is a call to action and an inspiring playbook for making change—both locally and globally—in the 21st century. (Sept.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As global warming accelerates, McKibben, who has been writing about climate change and fossil fuels for 25 years, has stepped up his innovative activism even though all he really wants to do is stay home in Vermont and appreciate nature’s magnificent choreography. The title of his fifteenth book encapsulates the two lives he juxtaposes in this confiding and dramatic chronicle of environmental action in the Internet age, especially his founding of the nimble and impactful organization 350.org. On the oil front, McKibben illuminates the thinking behind and courage involved in protests against the Keystone XL pipeline, including his time in jail. Honey refers to his collaboration with beekeeper Kirk Webster, whose dream was to establish a chemical-free apiary and share his sustainable bee-raising techniques. McKibben eloquently contrasts the deep benefits of Webster’s work with the unconscionable risks of tar-sands oil production and the toxicity of Washington politics. In this moving, wryly amusing account set against the heated presidential campaign of 2012, ­McKibben describes his extraordinary world travels and what it took to launch gutsy, creative, and effective protests, and shares invaluable information and such intriguing insights as what bees can teach us about reaching consensus. Galvanizing and inspiring. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427233462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427233462
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #934,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Today in the United States there is a deep void of reality in ignoring or at least shrugging off the addiction of carbon based fossil fuels. There is good reason for it and Mr. Bill McKibben gives his very personal account of his last thirty years or so dealing global warming and other environmental issues. I first must reveal I have been a member of the organization 350.org and have marched (not arrested yet) a number of times at the Capital. The last of which was President's Day when 40,000 to 50,000 showed up on a less than ideal day to show there is an actual movement of citizens to stand up and act to deal with this problem of our own making. For those that could not be there, the passages of these events are worth the price of the book.
There is a mixture of facts, personal encounters with a diverse range of folks who are dealing with the challenge of trying to change the system.
Unfortunately, the system is geared in part to Politicians and in turn they are beholden to influence of money. There is no coincidence that the most profitable business on the planet gets their ear and support. Mr McKibben shows how activism by ordinary citizens banding together can engage the Institutions that are non-responsive to the repeated calls of leading scientists and science organizations to reduce greenhouse emissions and other causes of climate change. Sometimes that means getting arrested and spending days in jail as a peaceful protest.
I read the whole book in one sitting and will read it again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disclaimer: I was already positively biased towards this book before I started it given my interests and opinions on the issues that Bill McKibben discusses in this book. I have also read other works by the author so I did not come to this book objectively.

IMO, we are in a protracted war to battle climate change and the work that Bill describes is about a major effort in that war written while the war is still being fought. As my review's title relates, it is as if one read a book by a major player in the civil rights movement before the major federal civil rights legislation passed in the 60's.

Bill is one of the true heroes of the the war on climate change and his book is a riveting account of the last few years in this war and the important part that he has played. It is well written and inspiring and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Bill McKibbon has written a new book, Oil and Honey, which is a memoir of two different, yet related, facets of his life.
The oil side is about his personal realization that climate change is dangerously real and that he needed to inform others of the facts that influenced his decision to transition from author/educator to a more activist position. It is a personal, self-revealing, memoir of this transition and an historical look at the climate change movement.
The second part of the book, which is not really a second part but interwoven with the oil part, is with his neighbor, a beekeeper, and the day-to-day activities to keep the hive colonies healthy and productive.
Oil and Honey is a fascinating look into the personal and public life of McKibben and–no matter which side you are on–a look at the climate issue that you may not have seen or read before. I recommend the book also for Bill’s relaxed and personal style, and how he often makes you feel that you are sitting in the seat next to him on the bio-diesel fueled bus traveling between speaking engagements and demonstrations.
And it might prompt you to take a second look at your personal lifestyle, and whether there might be something you could do or change to make the world a better–and safer–place to life, not only for you but for your children, grandchildren, and those that follow.
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Format: Hardcover
Well written, easy reading. It is like having a gentle conversation with Bill - and you are able to grasp and remember what he is saying. A somewhat chronological read of the realization of, and taking, action. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I don't think that McKibben is capable of writing anything that isn't captivating and informative. He draws readers and idealistic people in as his beloved bees are drawn to flowers full of honey. Consider just this passage, which comes after he has described the White House demonstration campaign that (deliberately) landed him and protesters in jail:

"Perhaps I've given the impression that I'm a courageous fellow, ready to trot off to jail at the drop of a hat, able to stare down presidential aides. That would be not quite true.In fact, on the long list of things that scare me, bee stings rank fairly high. And with some reason. Once, wandering the woods a mile or so behind the house where I lived for many-years in the wild Adirondacks, I stepped on a yellow jacket nest. As usual I was lost in some reverie, when all of a sudden a drench of incandescent pain splashed up my stomach toward my head . . . "

This is pure McKibben. He is able to step back from his intense commitments and look at himself and events with an amazingly relaxed and often humorous detachment and humility. He refuses to to go on the attack, show hostility even to dedicated adversaries (like the fossil fuel industry and Republican Congressmen). All his energies go into making effective arguments, mobilizing people and formulating strategies. That rare ability to retain an independent mind at the same time as he engages in aggressive campaigning reminds me of the famous book by Frederick Douglass, "My Bondage and My Freedom". Escaping slavery to the North before the Civil War, Douglass became one of the most effective orators and agitators for the abolition of slavery.
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