Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Unbowed: A Memoir Paperback – September 4, 2007
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Maathai, a 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, presents a matter-of-fact account of her rather exceptional life in Kenya. Born in 1940, Matthai attended primary school at a time when Kenyan girls were not educated; went on to earn a Ph.D. and became head of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Nairobi before founding Kenya's Green Belt Movement in 1977, which mobilized thousands of women to plant trees in an effort to restore the country's indigenous forests. Because Kenya's environmental degradation was largely due to the policies of a corrupt government, she then made the Green Belt Movement part of a broader campaign for democracy. Maathai endured personal attacks by the ruling powers-President Moi denounced her as a "wayward" woman-and engaged in political activities that landed her in jail several times. When a new government came into power in 2002, she was elected to Parliament and appointed assistant minister in the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources. Despite workmanlike prose, this memoir (after The Green Belt Movement) documents the remarkable achievements of an influential environmentalist and activist. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
*Starred Review* The mother of three, the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate, and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai of Kenya understands how the good earth sustains life both as a biologist and as a Kikuyu woman who, like generations before her, grew nourishing food in the rich soil of Kenya's central highlands. In her engrossing and eye-opening memoir, a work of tremendous dignity and rigor, Maathai describes the paradise she knew as a child in the 1940s, when Kenya was a "lush, green, fertile" land of plenty, and the deforested nightmare it became. Discriminated against as a female university professor, Maathai has fought hard for women's rights. And it was women she turned to when she undertook her mission to restore Kenya's decimated forests, launching the Green Belt Movement and providing women with work planting trees. Maathai's ingenious, courageous, and tenacious activism led to arrests, beatings, and death threats, and yet she and her tree-planting followers remained unbowed. Currently Kenya's deputy minister for the environment and natural resources, Nobel laureate, visionary, and hero, Maathai has restored humankind's innate if nearly lost knowledge of the intrinsic connection between thriving, wisely managed ecosystems and health, justice, and peace. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top customer reviews
Two things I struggled with as I read about her work with the Green Belt Movement are her tendencies to belittle Kenyans and portray herself as an absolute victim.
Because of her work, Maathai was constantly harassed by local government authorities. During these moments, she would appeal to her international networks of friends and colleagues to encourage the Kenyan Government to put the environment before destructive developmental projects, arguing that Kenyans are too busy trying to earn a living, or not as aware of environmental conservation as people in the West are. This is a contradiction with what she claims several times about generations past who had systems of protecting the environment. She even demonstrates it through stories about growing up amongst lush rivers and forested areas in the forties and fifties.
Finally, in the face of constant adversity, it may be inevitable to take the tone of a victim, constantly attacking the mechanisms and institutions that prevent one from doing their work. Maathai falls into this trap, which diminishes her heroism and struggle. As a woman who achieved such prominence, she could have held her head up a little higher, especially in her lucid writing, to give a more powerful account of the years she spent building the Green Belt Movement.